Treatment

Desired Outcomes

• Complete resolution of the viral conjunctivitis

• Prevent adverse consequences of the infection

• Avoid spreading infection to other patients

Nonpharmacologic Therapy

® Nonpharmacologic measures are critical to prevent the spread of viral conjunctivitis. Patients should not share towels or other contaminated objects, should avoid close contact with other people, and avoid swimming for 2 weeks. 0 The virus remains vi-

able on dry surfaces for more than 2 weeks. Take care in the medical setting to thoroughly decontaminate instruments and wash hands.11

Patients may obtain symptomatic relief by using cold compresses and artificial tears.10 If artificial tear solutions sting, recommend a preservative-free formula.

Pharmacologic Therapy

Topical antivirals are not used to treat adenovirus conjunctivitis. Topical antibiotics are often prescribed for vira l conjunctivitis, ostensibly to prevent bacterial superinfection. In reality, this is a case of the patient insisting on a medication to speed healing.11 Avoid the use of antibiotics for a viral infection. 2 Eliminating superfluous antibiotic use also helps prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

If patients have a severe subepithelial infiltration, a topical steroid may be required. However, topical steroids may cause serious ocular complications and may worsen herpetic conjunctivitis, which has similar symptoms as viral conjunctivitis. Additionally, the period of virus shedding may be prolonged by up to 50% by topical prednisolone. Only ophthalmologists should prescribe topical steroids.10

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