AAO Conjunctivitis

First line: Bath/clean both eyelids with cotton wool dipped in sterile saline or cooled boiled water to remove crusting.

Treat only if severe, as most viral or self-limiting.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually unilateral and also self-limiting; it is characterised by red eye with mucopurulent, not watery, discharge; 65% resolve on placebo by day five. 

Fusidic acid has less Gram-negative activity.

First line - self care

If severechloramphenicol 0.5% eye drops


2 hourly for 2 days then 4 hourly (whilst awake)

For 48 hours after resolution

AND chloramphenicol 1% ointment

Apply at night

For 48 hours after resolution

Second line: fusidic acid 1% gel


For 48 hours after resolution