What are complications of bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Bacterial conjunctivitis, as long as the cornea is not affected, seldom leads to complications.

General concerns include membrane formation, severe postrecovery dry eye, and subsequent scarring of the punctum; corneal ulcer when the epithelium is not intact; and symblepharon from severe inflammation. Organisms most commonly associated with membrane formation and conjunctival scarring include adenovirus (epidemic keratoconjunctivitis [EKC]), N gonorrhea, and exotoxin-producing S pneumoniae.

In eyes with previous intraocular surgery, particularly with filtering blebs, endophthalmitis could result.

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