What is the basis for treatment choices in 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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Conjunctival scrapings and cultures are commonly used to guide treatment choices and confirm the microbe in severe bacterial conjunctivitis and cases that are resistant to antibiotic treatment (see Workup). The mainstay of treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis is topical antibiotic therapy. Systemic antibiotics are indicated for N gonorrhoeae and chlamydial infections. Surgical intervention is required only if the cornea is involved and results in corneal opacification (see Treatment).

See the following for more information regarding the differential diagnoses of bacterial conjunctivitis:

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