Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye.

It usually affects both eyes and makes them:

  • bloodshot
  • burn or feel gritty
  • produce pus that sticks to lashes
  • itch
  • water

How to treat conjunctivitis yourself

There are things you can do to help ease your symptoms.

Use clean cotton wool (one piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down before you:

  • clean off crusts on your lashes by rubbing them gently
  • make a cold compress to press on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down

Staying away from work or school

You don’t need to avoid work or school unless you or your child are feeling very unwell.

If there are a few children with conjunctivitis at your child’s school you might be asked to keep yours at home.

Advice for nurseries and schools can be read here.

Your pharmacist can help with conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is part of the Think Pharmacy Minor Ailments Scheme so your pharmacist can recommend eye drops or antihistamines to help with your symptoms.

You can find your nearest pharmacy at NHS Choices.