Pink eye (aka conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that layers your eyelid and surface of the eye). The membrane is usually clear but gets red and swollen when an infection or irritation occurs.
Pink eye can affect one or both eyes to any age group. It lasts for around 7 to 10 days. They are neither fatal nor do they cause any damage to your vision. However, there might be a constant irritation. To help relieve the discomfort, a few home remedies for pink eye (or conjunctivitis) can help. Before we explain them in detail, know its symptoms and causes first.
Symptoms of Pink Eye
The symptoms of pink eye (if it is viral) can last for a week or two and can become chronic. Pink eye caused by both viral and bacterial infections are extremely contagious. It is highly advised to stay at home until the symptoms diminish.
The common signs and symptoms of a pink eye are:
- Pus or water discharge from one or both eyes
- Runny nose
- Eye pain
- Itchy eyes
- Sinus congestion
- Eye redness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen eyelids
Causes of Pink Eye
Some of the factors that can cause pink eye are:
- Bacterial or Viral infections
- Allergy-inducing agents
- Toxic or Chemical substances
- Dry eyes (due to lack of moisture or prolonged exposure to sun or wind)
- Smoke or fumes
- Foreign objects
4 Types of Pink Eye Infections
Pink eye can be classified into four types:
1. Bacterial and Viral Pink Eye
The bacterial and viral pink eye can affect one or both the eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is usually accompanied by a watery discharge from eyes, and a thicker discharge accompanies bacterial conjunctivitis.
Both the infections can be related to colds or respiratory infections, like a sore throat Both these infection types are highly contagious and is transferred when coming in direct or indirect contact with the eye discharge of the affected person. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis affects both adults and children. However, children can suffer from bacterial pink eye more often.
2. Allergic Pink Eye
Allergic conjunctivitis is usually accompanied by symptoms like swollen eye membranes, tearing, and severe itching. Mild level of eye pain could be experienced. Most common reasons of allergic conjunctivitis include dust, animal dander, and seasonal pollens. This type of eye infection is seasonal and can be seen with allergic symptoms like scratchy throat, itchy throat, or sneezing.
3. Chemical Pink Eye
Chemical conjunctivitis occurs when any irritation-inducing substance gets into the eyes. Some of the chemicals that cause pink eye are:
- Household cleaners
- Industrial pollutants
- Foreign objects in the eyes
- Any type of Sprays
Note: Washing the eyes with excessive amounts of water is very important if a chemical substance gets into your eyes.
4. Chlamydia Pink Eye
Chlamydia pink eye infection is a very rare case of a bacterial pink eye. It can affect both children and adults. Chlamydia conjunctivitis in teens and adults can be sexually transmitted.
10 Best Home Remedies For Pink Eye
10. Euphrasia Leaves (Eyebright)
Euprashia is also known as Eyebright. It has multiple medicinal properties and can naturally cure eye infections. According to scientists, Eyebright has several organic, nutritional, and chemical properties that can treat more than just eye infections. It contains
It contains Vitamins (B, C, E), alkaloids, beta-carotene, antioxidants such as ferulic acids, caffeic acids, flavonoids, defensive compounds, iridoid glycosides, volatile oils, and tannins. To treat Pinkeye with Eyebright, follow the steps given below:
- Step 1: Stew a teaspoon of Eyebright herb in a cup of hot water.
- Step 2: Allow the mixture to cool down and then strain.
- Step 3: Use cool rose water to dilute the strained tea.
- Step 4: Use the mixture as an eyewash and wash your eyes every 4 hours to get rid of pink eye symptoms.
Note: Herbal experts suggest using this topical method only for a short term. Due to potential contaminations in homemade non-pharmaceutics Euphrasia tea preparations, supervision of an herbal expert is highly recommended. Also, consuming Eyebright tea and taking Eyebright tablets or capsules may help to quicken the healing process.
How Does This Work?
The anti–inflammatory and antihistamine properties of the herb act as astringents to kill the bacteria/virus that causes the infection.
Eyebright Is Not Good, If:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding (consult your doctor beforehand).
- You have diabetes.
- You are scheduled for surgery in two weeks.