Treatments for Conjunctivitis Caused by a Virus

A virus often causes conjunctivitis and this can occur in people of all ages. There are several viruses that can cause viral conjunctivitis but the most common is adenovirus, with the herpes simplex v being the second most common. Some less common viruses that lead to conjunctivitis are varicell zoser as well as HIV. While viral conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own, it generally lasts longer than other types of conjunctivitis, taking two to four weeks to clear up instead of seven to ten days.

Viral conjunctivitis itself is not treatable but there are treatments that can help to alleviate some of the symptoms while waiting for it to run its course. Over the counter eye drops that are labeled as artificial tears can be used to help alleviate inflammation. Antihistamines, both oral and topical, can be used to stop the itching but are only mildly effective. Sometimes eye drops that contain antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent the viral conjunctivitis from turning into an infection.

As a last resort, eye drops that contain steroids can be used for viral conjunctivitis that is not clearing on its own. They should only be used under close doctor care because, if not used properly or for too long, they can cause permanent eye damage and vision impairment. Topical antiviral treatments are only really effective if the viral conjunctivitis is caused by the herpes simplex v. Regardless of the treatment, people with viral conjunctivitis need to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of water to help speed up the healing process.

Also there are some supplements such as vitamin C, A and Zinc that can help speed recovery by boosting the immune system. Many people find a great deal of relief from inflammation by using cold compresses and also by washing their eyes with cool water. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious in close proximity of an infected person, so preventive measures must be taken to stop the spread of the virus.

Contact lenses should not be worn until infection is completely cleared. All worn contacts and their cases should be thrown out to avoid re-infection. Makeup should never be shared and should be thrown out along with any applicators used with it. The infected person and anyone they are around need to be sure to wash their hands often. Also any surfaces they come in to contact with should be disinfected continuously. Wash cloths, towels and bedding used by someone with viral conjunctivitis should be washed immediately in hot water.

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