Viral eye infection, conjunctivitis or popularly known as red eye is the most common inflammation of the outer layer of the white of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids (conjunctiva). It can occur as a result of a bacterium, allergy or virus.

Conjunctivitis with the highest risk of transmission is considered to be viral conjunctivitis caused by adenovirus. Other viruses that can cause conjunctivitis include herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VHS), picornavirus, poxvirus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, usually 10 to 12 days after the onset of inflammation, and is easily transmitted by sneezing and coughing, and can also occur with measles, the flu or the common cold.

The most common signs and symptoms of viral conjunctivitis are:

  • Itchy eyes;
  • Tearing;
  • Redness;
  • Secretion from the eyes and
  • Hypersensitivity to light.

Treatment of viral eye infection

The diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis is generally made on the basis of the clinical picture. Laboratory tests are usually not necessary, but they can be very useful in certain cases, especially when there is a risk of an epidemic of such inflammation.

Viral conjunctivitis, unlike other types of red eyes, is not treated with antibiotics or drops, but is self-limiting – the infection usually goes away spontaneously in 2 to 4 weeks. However, to reduce the symptoms and make your daily life easier, we will prescribe you: topical vasoconstrictors to whiten the eye, decongestants to reduce surface swelling and antihistamines to reduce the occasional itching of the eyes. If you have more risk factors that can lead to a bacterial infection, then topical antibiotics may be used.

The ophthalmologist at the examination will give you therapy that will help reduce the infection and / or its symptoms.

Prevention of viral conjunctivitis is very important!

The best way to prevent this type of conjunctivitis is to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes as much as possible, avoiding the common use of towels, bedding and cosmetics. If you are infected, you should not go to work or school, i.e. you should sit at home until the infection subsides. Those who wear contact lenses should stop using them until the symptoms and signs disappear. Once the infection has subsided, new contact lenses are recommended as conjunctivitis can be re-transmitted from the lens of the eye.