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Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: Care Instructions

Healthy eye and an eye with conjunctivitis


Giant papillary conjunctivitis (say "kun-JUNK-tih-VY-tus") means that the lining, or inner layer, of your upper eyelid is inflamed. It happens when the eyelid rubs on something in the eye. Contact lenses, especially the soft kind, are the most common cause. It also may be caused by other things in the eye, such as stitches.

Symptoms include red eyes, itchy eyes, and increased eye mucus. Small bumps may form under your upper eyelid. You may have blurred vision when you wear contact lenses. You may also be more aware of feeling the lenses on your eye.

Your doctor will examine your eyes to find out what's causing the irritation. Your doctor may look for signs of the problem, such as small bumps under the eyelid. The bumps may get larger as the eyes get more irritated.

The condition is treated by removing whatever is causing the irritation, such as the contact lenses. Your doctor may give you eyedrops to use. The drops may have antihistamine medicine in them.

After the object that's irritating the eye is removed, your eye and vision should go back to normal in a few days.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • If the doctor gave you eyedrops, use them as directed. Keep the bottle tip clean.
  • To put in eyedrops or ointment:
    • Tilt your head back, and pull your lower eyelid down with one finger.
    • Drop or squirt the medicine inside the lower lid.
    • Close your eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the drops or ointment move around.
    • Do not touch the ointment or dropper tip to your eyelashes or any other surface.
  • If you use contact lenses, follow your doctor's instructions about wearing them. You may need to remove the lenses until your doctor says it's okay to wear them. You may need to limit use or change the type of lenses you wear.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse eye pain.
  • You have new or worse redness in your eye.
  • You have symptoms of an eye infection, such as:
    • Pus or thick discharge coming from the eye.
    • Redness or swelling around the eye.
  • Light hurts your eye.
  • You have vision changes.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.