Pink Eye Home Remedies

Pink Eye Home Remedies
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Many readers are interested in the following topic: How to treat pink eye at home. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

If mucus is making your eyelids stick together, use a warm washcloth to loosen them.

How to Get Rid of Pinkeye

If you or your child has pinkeye, you may be tempted to rush to the doctor right away. But you might not have to.

Allergies, viruses, and bacteria can cause pinkeye, which is also called conjunctivitis. It makes one or both of your eyes red and itchy. The affected eye will drain a lot or have a white or yellowish discharge. The symptoms may last a week or 10 days, maybe longer, but they sometimes go away without medical treatment.

Treating Different Types of Pinkeye

There are some simple steps you can take to feel better, no matter what’s causing your pinkeye.

  • Use a compress. Soak a lint-free cloth in cool water. Wring it out and press it gently to your closed eyelids. Don’t press hard, as you don’t want to hurt your eyes. If you have pinkeye in only one eye, keep the compress away from the healthy one, or it could get infected, too. Use warm water if that feels better. But don’t make it too hot, which could make your pinkeye worse or burn your eyelids. Use a compress for a few minutes at a time, several times a day. Make sure no one else uses the cloth.
  • Use eye drops. Over-the-counter drops can help with itching. Look for “lubricating” drops or “artificial tears.” Stay away from ones that treat “red eyes.” Keeping your drops in the refrigerator may make them feel even better.
  • Skip your contacts. If you wear contact lenses, go without them until your pinkeye clears up. You may need to replace your lenses and case afterward. Bacteria or viruses may be living there, and you can get infected again.

Viral Pinkeye Treatment

Pinkeye caused by a virus might start in one eye and spread to the other. It will usually go away on its own in a week or two. Your doctor can give you medication to treat more serious viruses like herpes simplex or varicella zoster.

Bacterial Pinkeye Treatment

You’ll probably have more mucus or pus if bacteria cause your pinkeye. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics, usually eye drops. Mild cases may get better on their own in a few days.

If mucus is making your eyelids stick together, use a warm washcloth to loosen them.

Allergic Pinkeye Treatment

Pinkeye caused by an allergy usually gets better after you limit contact with the allergen. Your doctor can give you tests to identify the problem.

Allergic pinkeye isn’t contagious. You can go to work or school without worrying about giving it to someone else.

Wash clothes and pillowcases often. It might also help to shower or bathe before bed.

Ask your doctor about medicines that might help. They can recommend over-the-counter or prescription drugs including:

  • Allergy medications like antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers
  • Anti-inflammatories such as decongestants or steroids

When to See a Doctor

Red or swollen eyes could also be caused by a stye — which often looks like a pimple or red area on your eyelid — or some other kind of inflammation.

It also could be a different type of allergic reaction. If your eye isn’t better after you try home remedies for a few days, call your doctor.

You also should check with your doctor if you have:

Pinkeye Prevention

If pinkeye has invaded your home, take steps to help keep it from spreading to everyone else. The two most important things for everyone in your household to remember are:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Try not to touch your eyes.

It’s also helpful to change towels and pillowcases often, and wash them in hot water. Never share towels or pillows with someone who has pinkeye.

Show Sources

CDC: “Pink Eye: Usually Mild and Easy to Treat;” “Conjunctivitis: Treatment;” and “Conjunctivitis: Prevention.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pink eye: Lifestyle and home remedies.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Quick Home Remedies for Pink Eye.”

How to treat pink eye at home

Conjunctivitis treatment

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is highly contagious and can also be thoroughly uncomfortable for those infected, regardless of the type of pink eye you have. Fortunately, pink eye can be treated at home — to an extent.

There are some pink eye remedies, like over-the-counter eye drops and moist compresses, that can be utilized at home to ease discomfort. But it is still important to see an eye doctor to determine which type of infection you have and seek advice on appropriate treatment.

Home remedies for viral conjunctivitis

Viral pink eye is spread easily through the germs, sneezing or coughing of an infected person. This type of pink eye is caused by a virus, similar to the common cold — and like the common cold, viral pink eye must run its course in order to heal, as there is currently no medical cure for the condition.

What can you do to treat viral pink eye at home? While there isn’t a proven remedy for viral conjunctivitis itself, there are some home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms:

  • Cool compresses
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) lubricating eye drops (artificial tears)
  • Topical antihistamines

Home remedies for bacterial conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is often caused by bacteria found in a person’s own skin or respiratory system, though it can also be caused by sharing personal objects like makeup, through close contact with an infected person or as a result of poor hygiene.

Unlike viral pink eye, bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with medication. When it comes to the initial treatment of a bacterial eye infection, you can begin with the following home remedies:

  • Warm compresses (to rid your eyes of the yellowish discharge and crustiness this type of conjunctivitis causes)
  • OTC lubricating eye drops (artificial tears)

It is possible that mild bacterial pink eye cases will clear up on their own after a few days, but bacterial infections must be treated properly (often under the care of an eye doctor) in order to prevent serious damage to vision.

See an eye doctor if symptoms have worsened, as many eye infections need to be treated with prescribed antibiotic eye drops or ointments in order to resolve.

Home remedies for allergic and chemical conjunctivitis

Both allergic pink eye (which can occur due to seasonal allergies) and chemical conjunctivitis (which can occur due to irritants like pollen, smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, cosmetic ingredients, solutions, etc.), can both be treated at home.

Chemical conjunctivitis can often be treated at home by flushing the eyes frequently with a sterile saline solution until the irritation is gone.

Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated at home with the following:

  • Avoiding or removing allergens
  • Cool compresses
  • Artificial tears
  • OTC allergy eye drops

Serious conditions of allergic conjunctivitis may need to be treated with prescribed steroids if they persist.

When to see a doctor for pink eye

If your conjunctivitis is not improving with a home remedy for pink eye, you may need to seek medical help.

The severity of conjunctivitis may be unclear, especially in early stages. However, if you experience the following symptoms, even after treating pink eye at home, further medical treatment is necessary:

  • Severe discomfort
  • Fever
  • A change in vision

An eye doctor can determine the appropriate treatment for you, whether it’s antibiotics, topical ointment or medicated eye drops.

Specific treatment for pink eye matters

The type of pink eye you are experiencing is critical when determining your treatment. For less severe infections or allergic or chemical pink eye, you may be able to treat the condition exclusively at home.

When it comes to more serious conditions, however, an eye doctor may need to prescribe a specific solution or ointment to treat your pink eye. Of course, home remedies for pink eye can still be used to help alleviate various symptoms, but appropriate treatment is critical for your eye health now and in the long run.

Preventing pink eye at home

What can you do to prevent pink eye at home? No matter which type of conjunctivitis you may encounter, there are several strategies to help prevent an infection, which can be done both at home and as part of your daily routine:

  • Clean contact lenses thoroughly
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching and rubbing your eyes
  • Keep personal items (towels, washcloths, tissues, etc.) to yourself
  • Wear goggles when swimming

These tips are among the many that can be helpful in preventing an infection. However, additional treatment may be necessary, should you develop pink eye.

Page published on Wednesday, August 26, 2020