Once your doctor has identified the cause of your symptoms and discomfort, you can proceed with treatment.
Cold or Warm Compress
A cold compress can relieve pressure around the eyes, providing temporary relief. After meeting with your eye doctor, they may provide you with a special cold compress mask to use in combination with other treatments. A cold compress may provide relief for chemical conjunctivitis, but contact with certain chemicals are considered emergencies and require immediate medical attention. Some patients find that warm compresses also provide relief.
Antibiotic and Steroidal Eye Drops
The type of eye drops or ointments prescribed will vary depending on the type of conjunctivitis you have. If you have a bacterial form of pink eye, you will need antibiotic eye drops to eliminate the infection. In most cases, you will need to use the eye drops several times a day and continue their use until the infection has been completely eliminated.
If you have a viral form of pink eye, your eye doctor may prescribe steroidal eye drops or ointments. These can reduce inflammation and provide relief from painful symptoms while the virus runs it course. It can take two to three weeks for viral infections to subside.
Steroidal eye drops may also be prescribed for patients suffering from allergic conjunctivitis. These drops can relieve inflammation so you can make it through allergy season without painful and frustrating symptoms.
Your doctor may also recommend an anti-inflammatory medication in addition to these treatments. Anti-inflammatories may include drops, topical ointments, or pills. These work to reduce inflammation and painful symptoms associated with several different forms of pink eye, including bacterial, viral, and allergic.