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Bacterial culture, conjunctiva

Bacterial culture, conjunctiva

Bacterial culture, conjunctiva


What is this test?

This test detects and identifies bacteria from a culture of fluid or discharge from an eye. This test is used to help diagnose a possible bacterial cause of conjunctivitis or "pink eye". This test is also used when the "pink eye" does not improve after initial antibiotic treatment.

Why do I need this test?

Laboratory tests may be done for many reasons. Tests are performed for routine health screenings or if a disease or toxicity is suspected. Lab tests may be used to determine if a medical condition is improving or worsening. Lab tests may also be used to measure the success or failure of a medication or treatment plan. Lab tests may be ordered for professional or legal reasons. You may need this test if you have:

  • Bacterial pinkeye

How should I get ready for the test?

Ask the healthcare worker for information about how to prepare for this test.

How is the test done?

The most common way this test is done is with a sterile moistened swab. The swab will be wiped over the surface of your eye or the inside of your eyelid. The swab will collect any pus or drainage.

How will the test feel?

The amount of discomfort you feel will depend on many factors, including your sensitivity to pain. Communicate how you are feeling with the person doing the test. Inform the person doing the test if you feel that you cannot continue with the test.

During an eye culture, you may feel mild eyelid discomfort when the sample is collected. No anesthetic (numbing or pain medicine) is used for this test. Ask the healthcare worker what to expect during this test..

What should I do after the test?

Ask the healthcare worker to instruct you on what to expect after this test is completed. If you have questions or concerns about what to expect after the test is completed, talk to the healthcare worker.


You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.