Rapid Access and Urgent Care Clinic - same and next day appointments with leading experts in ophthalmology. Find out more
Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a common condition which causes the surface of your eye to go red and, often, sticky or watery and your eye becomes sore.

  • Conjunctivitis can be caused by infection from bacteria, viruses or other organisms, and also by allergy or inflammation.

    Viral conjunctivitis tends to cause a watery red eye and can last for two to three weeks even with the correct treatment. In most cases viral conjunctivitis does not affect your vision but rarely you might notice your vision becomes blurry or you may see glare when looking at lights. This is due to an inflammatory reaction causing small white dots on the cornea, the transparent window at the front of the eye. These usually fade with time, but it can take a few weeks or even months.

    Bacterial conjunctivitis is more likely to cause a red eye with a sticky yellow discharge.

  • There is no antiviral medication for viral conjunctivitis and it does not respond to antibiotic drops as it is not caused by bacteria. The best treatment for viral conjunctivitis is to use artificial tears and simple painkillers, with regular lid cleaning and cold compresses. The conjunctivitis disappears when your body becomes immune to the virus and fights the germs off, just as in a cold or ‘flu. Very rarely, steroid drops are given for severe cases of viral conjunctivitis or when the cornea is affected.

    Antibiotic drops can be helpful in cases of bacterial conjunctivitis and are often prescribed for a one or two-week course.

    Contact lenses should not be worn during any type of conjunctivitis.

  • Conjunctivitis is contagious and spreads very easily by water droplets (coughing, sneezing) or contact with tissues, flannels, towels, pillowcases and so on. For that reason, it’s really important to wash your hands frequently and dispose of tissues after use to prevent the condition from spreading to other family members or work colleagues.

Call us

If you would like to know more about our services or book an appointment please call our New Patient Team.

New Patient Team: 0800 328 3421
Complete our enquiry form

If you have an enquiry, we are here to help you, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.

New Patient Team: 0800 328 3421

What would you like to ask us?

Conjunctivitis consultants

A picture of Mr Romil Patel

Mr Romil Patel


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Avi Gurbaxani

Mr Avi Gurbaxani


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Kamran Saha

Mr Kamran Saha


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Pei-Fen Lin

Miss Pei-Fen Lin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Martin Watson

Mr Martin Watson


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Badrul Hussain

Mr Badrul Hussain


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Rajesh Deshmukh

Mr Rajesh Deshmukh


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of  Maria Theodorou

Maria Theodorou


Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Professor  Frank Larkin

Professor Frank Larkin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr George Saleh

Mr George Saleh


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Su-yin Koay

Miss Su-yin Koay


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Michel Michaelides

Professor Michel Michaelides


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr George Voyatzis

Mr George Voyatzis


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Sajjad Ahmad

Mr Sajjad Ahmad


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Dr Erika Damato

Dr Erika Damato


Consultant Medical Ophthalmologist

A picture of Miss Swan Kang

Miss Swan Kang


Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon

A picture of Mr John Brookes

Mr John Brookes


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Niaz Islam

Mr Niaz Islam


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Zubin Saihan

Mr Zubin Saihan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Jimmy Uddin

Mr Jimmy Uddin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Daniel Ezra

Mr Daniel Ezra


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr David Verity

Mr David Verity


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Saab Bhermi

Mr Saab Bhermi


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Emma Jones

Miss Emma Jones


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Praveen Patel

Mr Praveen Patel


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Mariya Moosajee

Professor Mariya Moosajee


Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Mr Jaheed Khan

Mr Jaheed Khan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Raj Das-Bhaumik

Mr Raj Das-Bhaumik


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

06.02.2024

Anaesthesia for cataract surgery
Written by Mr Alexander Ionides, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Clinical Lead
Read more

05.01.2024

London Specialist Hospitals partnership brings together world’s finest healthcare professionals
Read more

06.12.2023

Moorfields Private Eye Centre rated as “Good” by the CQC
Read more

Paying for treatment

Private Medical Insurance

If you are covered by private medical insurance, please verify the details with your insurer prior to arrival and if possible, obtain a pre-authorisation number.

Read more
Self pay

You don’t have to be insured to come to Moorfields Private. Many of our patients pay for their own treatment.

Read more
Interest free payment plans

We offer payment plans via a 3rd party provider for the majority of cases within the following procedures:

You are able to apply for interest free payment plans for over up to ten months, subject to a credit check and Terms and Conditions. No deposit is required.

For more information please speak to your consultant’s practice manager prior to your consultation.

Read more
Third party sponsorship

​If a company, employer or other third party agrees to settle your account, they will be required to provide a letter of guarantee along with a deposit.

Read more