17 Pink Eye Home Remedies

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From the tiniest of babies to great-Grandpa, people of any age can battle the discomfort of pink eye. The inflammation that comes with this eye condition can create fiery peepers that keep children out of school and adults from work. Many people are highly contagious. Luckily, the infection does not cause any changes in vision, and most cases respond well to pink eye home remedies.

pink eye home remedies

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) occurs when the thin, clear covering of the white part of your eyes and the inside of the eyelids become inflamed [1]. Infection or allergies can cause a reaction in the membranes of your eyes and eyelids. An individual may develop either an infectious or noninfectious case of pink eye. Altogether, there are three different forms of conjunctivitis – viral, bacterial and allergic.

Causes and Symptoms

A patient may develop a pink eye infection because of three reasons: a virus, bacteria or an allergic reaction [2]. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus that is highly contagious – so much so that you can spread the virus by coughing and sneezing on someone. Yet, when left untreated, this type of pink eye typically clears up on its own within several days. In the meantime, you may experience a sensitivity to light and watery, itchy eyes.

Bacterial conjunctivitis can lead to serious damage to the eye when ignored. Bacteria cause a sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow discharge to form in the corner of the eye. In the worst of cases, you will find that the discharge has caused your eyelids to stick together upon awakening in the morning. This form of pink eye is contagious through direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye. One or both eyes can be infected.

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused when irritants, such as dust, pollen and animal dander, causes an individual to suffer inflammation. The conjunctivitis could occur seasonally (as seen in cases with pollen) or flare up throughout the year (in regards to dust and pet dander). Both eyes are affected and can become watery and itchy. A burning sensation may develop and symptoms are often accompanied by a runny nose and other signs of allergy. This type of pink eye is not contagious.

Home Remedies for Pink Eye

Applying cool or warm compresses to infected eyes is a good way to gain relief from pink eye symptoms. Some of the best results come when you prepare a healing solution for the compress, which you will find in a couple of the following pink eye home remedies mentioned below:

a) Honey:

To make a healing solution for infected eyes, add one teaspoon of pure honey to ½ cup of water. Place two drops of the solution in each eye to treat conjunctivitis. Don’t be alarmed if you feel a stinging sensation – this is normal. Keep adding drops to your eyes several times throughout the day to lessen the pain and inflammation of conjunctivitis.

b) Orange and Yellow Foods:

Pile foods on your plate that are orange and yellow to supply your body with the vitamin A and beta carotene known to enhance eye health. Aim to eat more squash, pumpkin, oranges, carrots, and yellow yams.

c) Sweet Potatoes:

Since sweet potatoes are the most orange-colored of all fruits and vegetables, they are high in beta carotene. For every 100g serving, your body receives 9444?g of beta carotene, which is connected with improving eyesight and enhancing eye health. Other foods high in beta carotene to consider include kale, carrots, spinach, lettuce and turnip greens.

d) Turmeric Powder:

You can create a healing solution for a pink eye compress by mixing one teaspoon of turmeric powder and one cup of water. Use this remedy for warm compresses.??

e) Tea Bags:

For instant relief from itchy pink eye and the discomfort of an eye infection, place dampened tea bags (green, black or chamomile) in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove the bags from the freezer, place over infected eyes. Do not use the same tea bag for each eye.

f) Baby Shampoo/Warm Water Flush:

For soothing relief and to rinse away eye drainage, consider washing the eyes with a mixture of warm water and a tiny bit of baby shampoo.

g) Breast Milk:

When infants face a case of pink eye, lactating mothers can use their breast milk to flush out infected eyes.??

h) Castor Oil:

To clear up a pink eye infection, apply a drop of castor oil in each eye. Follow this remedy for once per day.

i) Ice Cubes:

Some people will simply apply an ice cube to an infected eye to gain relief. For some, the numbing effects help ease their pain. Hold the ice cube over your eye for about 10 to 15 minutes.

j) Bread Slice:

Some report that a slice of cold bread held over an infected eye can sometimes reduce the swelling and itchiness of conjunctivitis.

k) Cotton Balls:

When applying any eye treatments and pink eye remedies, use cotton balls instead of your fingers, a washcloth or napkin. Don’t forget to wash your hands after treating your eyes.

l) The Way You Wipe [3]:

When cleaning infected eyes, make sure to wipe from the inside (next to your nose) towards the outside of the eye.

m) Mittens:

It’s hard to translate the importance of not rubbing eyes infected with conjunctivitis to a baby or small child. They just can’t resist the urge to paw at their eyes. To make matters worse, their curious fingers are notorious for spreading disease and bacteria. While they have an eye infection, outfit your child with mittens to avoid excessive rubbing – especially during the night.

n) Change Your Bedding:

To make sure reinfection does not occur, change and wash your pillowcases and bed sheets separate from the other laundry.

o) Your Own Eye Drops:

When using eye drops to treat your pink eye, do not share with anyone else.

p) Fennel Seeds:

A healing soak for your eyes may include a solution made from boiling fennel seeds in a pot of water. When the liquid reaches room temperature, use with a compress that is applied to infected eyes.

q) Hold Off on Contacts [4]:

Contact wearers run the risk of prolonged healing if they keep them in during a pink eye infection. Before reusing, make sure to thoroughly clean your lenses. Disposable contacts (along with the cleaning solution and lens case) must be tossed away to prevent reinfection.

r) Go Without Cosmetics:

Avoid using eye makeup and cosmetic creams around the eye region until your pink eye symptoms have disappeared. The ingredients in such products will only cause further irritation.

s) Frequent Hand Washing:

Washing your hands on a frequent basis will protect yourself and members of your family from suffering the symptoms of pink eye. Remember that conjunctivitis is contagious and spreads through contact.


[1] http://www.medicinenet.com/pink_eye/article.htm#What_is_pink_eye
[2] http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/conjunctivitis.htm
[3] http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/tc/pinkeye-home-treatment
[4] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pink-eye/DS00258/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies