What is the mainstay of treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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The mainstay of treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis is topical (administered as eye drops or ointment) antibiotic therapy. Systemic antibiotics are indicated for gonorrhea and chlamydial infections. Under certain circumstances, topical antibiotics may be considered of limited benefit and, considering the risks of widespread antibiotic resistance, should be withheld while the disease course resolves without treatment. [5, 6, 7]

Steroid use is controversial (see Treatment for more details).

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