What information about viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) should patients receive?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020
  • Author: Ingrid U Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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To allay patient anxiety, it is helpful to inform patients that their symptoms may worsen during the first 4-7 days after onset before they begin to improve and may not resolve for 2-4 weeks. The contagiousness of the infection also should be emphasized. Proper isolation from the workplace or school is advisable and essential to prevent epidemics.

Patients with conjunctivitis who wear contact lenses should be instructed to discontinue lens wear until signs and symptoms have resolved.

For patient education information, see the Eye and Vision Center and the Skin Conditions & Beauty Center, as well as Pinkeye, How to Instill Your Eyedrops, and Molluscum Contagiosum.

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