Viruses, bacteria and allergies are the commonest causes of conjunctivitis.


Conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by infection or allergies. It usually affects both eyes and makes them:

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

Conjunctivitis that produces sticky pus is contagious. If eyes are red and feel gritty, the conjunctivitis is also usually contagious. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies like hay fever makes eyes red and watery but isn’t contagious.

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

  1. Use clean cotton wool (one piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down before you:    gently rub your eye lashes to clean off crusts
  2. hold a cold flannel on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down
  3. Wash hands regularly with warm soapy water
  4. wash pillows and face cloths in hot water and detergent.

Things that you must NOT do:

  • wear contact lenses until your eyes are better
  • share towels and pillows
  • rub your eyes.