Conjunctivitis - Diagnosis

Diagnosis of conjunctivitis is usually based on a medical history and physical examination. A doctor will ask when the symptoms began, how long the condition has been going on, the symptoms experienced, and if the patient has had any recent infections or diseases. Contact with anyone who has had conjunctivitis is also important information.

Diagnosis is usually relatively simple because symptoms are obvious. In rare cases, smears may be taken. A smear is obtained by collecting discharge from the eye on a cotton swab. The discharge can then be kept in a warm place until any bacteria that are present begin to grow. The bacteria can then be studied under a microscope.

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