Treatment of viral conjunctivitis
Traditionally the treatment of viral conjunctivitis simply aimed to relieve symptoms and stop the disease spreading to others. Affected individuals were advised that they would be contagious for ten days and should be off work for two weeks. Cool compresses and artificial tears were prescribed to keep the eyes comfortable. Strict hand and face washing practices were encouraged.
These measures are important but new research has also shown that Povidone-Iodine is an effective treatment.
Povidone-Iodine is a very safe antiseptic that is used all over the world to prevent infections in patients having eye surgery.
There is good evidence that Povidone-Iodine eye drops are an effective treatment for patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis and possibly all types of infectious conjunctivitis.
Povidone-Iodine lowers the risk of infecting others, lessens the likelihood of severe visual loss and decreases the time needed off work from fourteen to five days.
Current treatment of viral conjunctivitis in Christchurch
Dr McKellar has developed a protocol for the treatment of viral conjunctivitis which is used by other eye specialists around New Zealand.
Patients with possible viral conjunctivitis are examined at his rooms. If it seems likely that viral conjunctivitis is present an immunochromatographic test is performed and swabs taken for PCR.
Patients are then offered immediate treatment with Povidone-Iodone and are issued with specially compounded eye drops containing Povidone-Iodine and steroids for ongoing use at home. Ongoing reviews are arranged if necessary.