Emergency advice

Conjunctivitis:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Boil water, let it cool, and wet some cotton wool.
  3. Gently wipe the eye from the inside outwards to clean it.
  4. Holding a clean cold flannel on your eyes for a few minutes can help.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by allergies or infections. Treatment is not always needed as the condition will improve in a couple of weeks.

Conjunctivitis is sometimes called pink or red eye. In most cases, it affects both eyes.

Signs and symptoms

The eyes may be:

  • bloodshot
  • sticky with a pussy discharge
  • itchy
  • watery
  • feeling gritty or burning.

What to do

  1. If the casualty is a baby with red eyes, seek medical assistance straight away.

  2. Wash your hands with soap and water.

  3. Boil some water and let it cool down. Use it to wet some gauze swabs.

    • If you don't have gauze, you can use a clean non-fluffy cloth.
  4. Use one gauze swab per eye. Gently wipe the eye from the inside outwards to clean it (from point closest to the nose to the cheek).

  5. Holding a clean cold flannel (or cold compress) on your eyes for a few minutes will help to relieve irritation, any burning sensation, and allergies (for example, hay fever).

  6. Do not share towels, face cloths, or pillow cases to prevent infectious conjunctivitis spreading.

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