4 Household Remedies for Pink Eye

homemade pink eye remedies

If you’ve ever woken up with a crusty, pink, itchy eye, then you’ve likely experienced the nuisance that is pink eye. Also called conjunctivitis, it spreads like wildfire, which is why it’s so important to nip it in the bud as soon as symptoms show up. While your doctor can churn out a quick prescription for pink eye, there are lots of tried and true home remedies you can also use to alleviate symptoms in conjunction with your prescription.

It’s important to note that before you do anything else concerning a newfound case of pink eye, REMOVE YOUR CONTACTS! They will only add to the pain and discomfort if left in your eye. While dealing with the infection, play it smart and stick to using eyeglasses until your eye is 100% healed.

Now, onto some helpful home remedies…

  1. Damp Compress

When conjunctivitis is raging in one – or worse, both – eyes, one of the best things you can do is treat your troubled eye(s) to a damp compress. For pink eye caused by an infection, a warm, wet compress will provide great relief. If your pink eye is caused by allergies, then a cold compress may work even better.

Whichever temperature you choose, you’ll want to make sure to use a clean, separate compress for each eye. This is key to keeping your infection/symptoms contained. So, no reusing the same compress!

  1. Artificial Teardrops

While symptoms are raging, you may be able to get some relief by using over-the-counter artificial teardrops. These can be found easily at your local pharmacy. These hydrating drops may help relieve itchy, dry, irritated eyes.

It’s important to note that there are several different options when it comes to artificial tears. Some contain antihistamines, an important ingredient in allergy-relief medications. If your pink eye is due to allergies, then you may want to consider picking up a bottle that contains these helpful ingredients. However, if the root of the problem is an infection, antihistamines won’t help and you can therefore skip any brands that contain that extra ingredient.

  1. Honey

Honey is sticky and messy, although super delicious. Still, ordinarily it’s not something you would want to put anywhere near your eyes, right? According to some natural remedy folks… that would be false.  Honey has been used in medical treatments since ancient times. It’s valued for its anti-microbial properties, which can help fight infections au natural.

As some kinds of pink eye are caused by bacteria, honey is believed by many folks to be able to treat the infection. It’s suggested that the honey is first diluted in warm liquid, such as water or milk, and then used as eye drops. Another idea for the mixture is to use it as a warm compress.

  1. Tea

Tea is a wonderful drink when you’re sick. It soothes sore throats, calms coughs, and can help open up congested pipes with its steam. Tea for the win, for sure. But what can any of that do for a case of pink eye?

Both green and black tea contain bioflavonoids, which can help reduce inflammation as well as put an infection in check. To use, moisten the tea bag and simply let it sit on your eye for a few minutes—just like you would a damp compress.  You don’t have to do anything else but enjoy the calm quiet and relief the teabags can bring to your eyes.

And there you have it, four pink eye home remedies that can begin giving you sweet relief quickly and easily. Keep in mind, none of these suggestions should replace your doctor’s advice.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/tc/pinkeye-home-treatment
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20022732
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
  4. http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-remedies-pink-eye-styes/
  5. http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/pink-eye-symptoms.html
  6. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/what-are-the-best-home-remedies-for-pink-eye.html

What Causes Pink Eye and How Do You Get Rid of It?

Itchy, ugly and highly contagious, Pink Eye is a common eye condition that causes great discomfort and irritation. Over 90% of adults have been exposed to this temporary ailment – also known by its proper medical name, Conjunctivitis – which is either contracted from person to person or through 131227-bloodshot-eyes-getty-stock-10a_11c71887f9c92a67eee8158ffd6147ceexposure to certain allergens, viruses and bacteria. Pink Eye can also be obtained through the improper care of contact lenses. All three strains of conjunctivitis produce dissimilar symptoms, and the treatment of each should come by recommendation of your physician or eye doctor, who can help you determine the cause of pink eye by taking a sample of tears or secretion for testing.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Patients who suffer allergic conjunctivitis often experience symptoms in both eyes, in addition to a runny or stuffy nose. If your case of pink eye is caused by allergies, this type of conjunctivitis is not transmitted to others.

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can normally be treated at home with allergy medicines. Cold compresses may also relieve discomfort. Over the counter antihistamine eye drops may also help to reduce swelling in your eyes.

Contact Lens–Induced Papillary Conjunctivitis (CLPC)

A less common complication of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers can experience is known as Giant Induced Papillary Conjunctivitis. This condition falls under the allergic type of pink eye and is caused from an allergy to contact lenses of all types. The most effective deterrent to induced papillary conjunctivitis is the routine cleaning and maintenance of your contact lenses. Eye doctors may prescribe a topical steroid to treat this condition; as CLPC can eventually lead to corneal ulcers and other complications, a trip to the doctor’s is highly recommended.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral pink eye is the most common form of conjunctivitis and, like a cold, will clear up on its own without a prescription. School-age children suffering from a case of viral pink eye should wait 3 to 5 days at home for symptoms to clear up before returning to their classroom. Most of the time, viral conjunctivitis is spread like other viruses, where coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces with the live viral germ will cause transfer of viral pink eye from one person to another.

Eye discharge caused by viral pink eye normally runs clear. However, in some cases white or light yellow eye mucus can be present. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by the same viral germs as a common cold or the herpes simplex virus. When the pink eye virus is present, it causes inflammation of the “white” of the eye (sclera) and the inner eyelid surface. Besides itching madly, pink eye sometimes is associated with white, yellow or green eye discharge that forms into an eyelash crust. In a more progressed stage of pink eye, patients can experience eyelid crusting that temporarily seals the eye lid shut. There are a number of things you can do at home to ease the discomfort of viral conjunctivitis while waiting for symptoms to dissipate.

92292345-61fe-4454-84c6-d9c91dc31b22Viral Conjunctivitis Home Treatments

– Hot or Cold Compresses. Do not use the same compress on each eye. This could potentially lead to spreading pink eye from one eye to another.
– Wiping the corner of the eye to remove discharge with soft Q-tip. Dispose of Q-Tip after one use.
– Irrigate eyes with an antihistamine tear drop. These can be purchased over the counter.
– Wash hands to prevent spreading conjunctivitis.
– Change pillow cases often.
– Keep your hands away from your eyes.
– Keep counters, night stands, and bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean with an anti-bacterial cleaner.
– Discard old eye make-up. Expired mascara or eye shadow brushes can lead to reinfection of the eye; for more tips on using cosmetics healthily, click here.
– Do not wear your contact lenses while suffering conjunctivitis. Throw away old eye solution.

Viral conjunctivitis will run its course in one to three weeks’ time. However, if your doctor believes your pink eye might be caused by the herpes simplex virus due to low immunity, he or she may prescribe an anti-viral medication.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Patients that experience thicker or pus-like eye discharge may be suffering bacterial conjunctivitis. Eye discharge from bacterial conjunctivitis appears as a heavy mucous, and is more likely to be green or grayish in color. If pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, a warm compress may help to reduce swelling and redness.
The sticky mucus caused by bacteria in the eye is extremely contagious and can cause serious damage to eyes if left untreated. Patients who suspect they may have this condition should see their doctor right away. Antibiotics are normally prescribed for bacterial pink eye. School age children who suffer from a case of bacterial pink eye can usually attend school 24 hours after being treated with antibiotics.

In most cases, pink eye is a non-serious condition which will improve on its own after a few days or weeks’ time. To speed up the recovery process, see your doctor for prescriptions or over-the-counter recommendations to alleviate discomfort and relieve symptoms more quickly. You should contact your doctor immediately if you believe you have a case of bacterial conjunctivitis or contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis. You should also see your doctor if at any point you experience eye pain, an increased over-sensitivity to light, if your vision becomes blurry and does not improve after blinking, or if your symptoms become increasingly worse.