Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pink eye, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin tissue over the white part of the eye and the layer surrounding the eyelid. It is caused by bacteria and viruses the can spread easily from person to person. Although highly contagious, it is not a serious medical condition and can be easily treated with proper medication. However, infants with Conjunctivitis should immediately seek professional medical attention to prevent complications that can lead to visual problems.
Millions of people suffer from Conjunctivitis each year. The symptoms commonly last for about 1 to 2 weeks. Most cases are prevented by simply washing the hands to avoid transfer of virus, while other more severe cases are cured by antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Conjunctivitis due to viruses is usually experienced by adults, while children are commonly affected by bacterial Conjunctivitis.
• Redness of the eye lining
• Teary eyes
• Yellow discharge in the eye which usually accumulates after waking up
• Burning sensation in the eyes
• Blurred vision
• Eyes become more sensitive to light
When any of these symptoms are felt, it is recommended to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. The doctor may conduct eye tests or use a cotton swab to get sample fluid from the eye.
Various factors cause the inflammation of conjunctiva:
• Bacteria – Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is usually treated with antibiotics such as eye drops, pills or creams. These medications are usually given for seven days.
• Viruses – Conjunctivitis caused by viruses commonly results to a common cold. This type of Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so it is recommended to avoid contact with infected person. Washing your hands before and after eating is also advised. Viral Conjunctivitis usually lasts for 4 to 7 days.
• Irritants – chemical irritants such as bleach can cause eye problems. When irritants accidentally come in contact with eyes, immediately wash with running water.
• Allergy – Allergies can also trigger Conjunctivitis. See a doctor to get proper medication for treating the allergy. Once the medication is started, symptoms will subside.
Natural Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is a common eye issue that can be easily treated at home by using natural methods and ingredients. Most of the time, consulting a doctor is not needed. To treat and prevent Conjunctivitis at home, try these effective natural remedies.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is rich with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that work effectively against bacteria and viruses that cause Conjunctivitis. Green tea is also loaded with bioflavonoids that are perfect for minimizing inflammation and swelling.
Get 1 green tea bag and dip it for about 5 to 10 seconds in hot water. Remove and let it cool down for a few seconds and place above the infected eye. Let is stay for 10 seconds and repeat the procedure until all the healthy juices from the bag have been extracted. Do this 2 to 3 times daily preferably in the morning and evening. Another way is to boil 1 to 2 green tea bags for about 5 minutes using medium heat. Add a tablespoon of honey. Stir well until the mixture boils. Get a clean and soft piece of cloth and damp it in the mixture. Place above the infected eye for about 10 seconds. Repeat steps until irritation subsides.
Regular drinking of green tea will also strengthen the body’s immune system against various infections and diseases. Drink 1 cup of green tea in the morning and before going to sleep. You may add 1 tea bag in your morning coffee or drink commercially made green tea juices as a snack.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is loaded with healthy substances that provide high levels of antibacterial effects. Furthermore, aloe vera effectively gives soothing and calming effects especially when inflammation and irritation are experienced. Lastly, it also promotes the repair of tissues and quickens the healing process.
A scientific research conducted in 2012 proved that using aloe vera in treating various eye infections is safe. Aloe Vera drops are recommended as a natural ingredient for curing human corneal cells, while also providing anti-inflammatory properties for the external eye parts.
Wash 2 to 3 large aloe vera leaves in running water. Slice in pieces and extract the juice in a small container. Apply directly on the affected eye 2 to 3 times daily preferably after waking up and before going to bed. Let the extract stay for 1 to 2 hours or until it dries out.
If fresh leaves are not available, you can use commercially made aloe vera gels available in drugstores and supermarkets. Make sure to choose brands that are made with 100% aloe vera and without chemical ingredients. Harmful ingredients will make the infection worse and can even lead to other eye issues.
Aloe vera juices and drinks are also effective options. Drink 1 glass daily to get more anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.
Similar to green tea, turmeric is regarded for its anti-viral and antibacterial properties, making it one of the most effective natural ingredients for treating various infections. In addition, turmeric also minimizes swelling and inflammation caused by both viral and bacterial infections while also promoting the healing process of tissues and cells.
To use as a topical cream, mix 2 teaspoons of turmeric and enough amount of water to make the mixture turn into a paste or cream. Mix well. Apply directly on the affected area while keeping your eyes close to avoid particles from entering. Do this twice a day, in the morning and evening. To use as a compress, mix 2 teaspoons of powdered turmeric with 1 glass of hot water. Stir well. Get a piece of soft and clean cotton clothing and damped in the mixture for 10 seconds. Directly place above the infected eye for a few minutes. You can do light massaging motions while the cloth is above the eye. Repeat until swelling has subsided.
Drinking turmeric regularly will also increase the body’s ability to ward off infections. Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered turmeric with a cup of hot water. Add e few drops of lemon and a teaspoon of pure honey. Stir well. Drink twice a day, during breakfast and before going to bed. You can also add a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning coffee of other favorite homemade drinks.
Also known as holy basil, Tulsi is a powerful natural ingredient against many types of bacterial infections. It is also loaded with anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the eyes from free radicals. Like aloe vera, it also provides soothing and calming properties while increasing the rate of the healing process.
Get 10 to 15 Tulsi leaves and boil with 1 to 2 cups of water in medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir continuously. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down for 5 minutes. When already warm, use as eye cleanser preferably after waking up and going to bed. You can damp a clean cotton and use as an eye compress.
To prepare as a drink, boil 15 Tulsi leaves with 1 glass of water. Add a teaspoon of honey and a splash of milk. Drink in the morning and evening.
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