How is viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) treated?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020
  • Author: Ingrid U Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis is supportive. Patients should be instructed to use cold compresses and lubricants, such as chilled artificial tears, for comfort. Topical vasoconstrictors and antihistamines may be used for severe itching but generally are not indicated. For patients who may be susceptible, a topical astringent or antibiotic may be used to prevent bacterial superinfection. There is clinical evidence that topical ganciclovir is effective against at least Adenovirus serotype 8, thus compelling many clinicians to prescribe this agent off-label for compelling cases of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), particularly when corneal lesions are noted.


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