Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is an irritating condition but it doesn’t typically affect your vision. Pink eye is characterized by inflammation and redness and may also be accompanied by itching. This condition spreads easily, so making an early diagnosis and starting treatment is very important. Keep reading to learn more about what causes pink eye and to learn about some natural home remedies.
The name pink eye refers to a condition in which the conjunctiva, or the mucus membrane that lines your eyelid and the surface of your eye, becomes red and inflamed. In a healthy eye, the lining of the eye is clear but if irritation or infection sets in, it may become swollen and red.
Unfortunately, pink eye is a very common condition, and it can be spread very easily. In most cases, the infection is not serious and it typically resolves on its own within 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. Because pink eye can cause itching and irritation, however, many people prefer to seek treatments to relieve symptoms. In regard to the causes for this condition, there are several possibilities:
- Dry eyes
Both viral pink eye and bacterial pink eye are highly contagious and easy to spread – viral pink eye is also difficult to treat because there are no treatments against viruses. The main cause for the spread of pink eye is poor hygiene, specifically lack of hand washing. Sharing objects like towels or washcloths can also spread pink eye.
Because pink eye can be caused by different things, the symptoms for each type of pink eye vary slightly. Here is an overview of symptoms related to the two most common forms of pink eye.
- Viral Pink Eye – Typically caused by adenovirus or herpes, viral pink eye often causes symptoms that include reddening of the whites of the eyes, swollen eyelids, itching or burning, swelling in front of the ears, excessive tearing, and a thick clear discharge.
- Bacterial Pink Eye – When bacteria enter the eye, it can cause pink eye – common bacterial causes include staph infection, haemophilus influenza, and gonorrhea. Symptoms of bacterial pink eye include reddening of the whites of the eyes, gray or yellow drainage, mild pain, and swelling of the upper eyelid.
In addition to these symptoms, various forms of pink eye may also cause an increased sensitivity to light, a gritty feeling in the eyes, and a crusting of the eyelids or lashes. Keep track of your symptoms to report to your doctor so he can make an accurate diagnosis regarding the cause of your pink eye.
10 Natural Home Remedies for Pink Eye
There are medical treatments available for some forms of pink eye, but many people prefer to resolve this condition naturally. The ten natural remedies listed below will help to clear up your pink eye without medications that could cause unpleasant side effects.
- Green Tea – Green tea (especially matcha) contains bioflavonoids which help to relieve the inflammation and irritation caused by pink eye. To use this natural remedy, simply steep a green tea bag in hot water then let it cool until you can handle it safely. Lay the tea bag over your infected eye for 15 minutes at a time.
- Turmeric – This bright yellow spice has natural antibacterial properties which can help with certain forms of pink eye. Simply stir two tablespoons of ground turmeric into a cup of hot water then soak a clean cotton pad in the mixture and place it over your eye.
- Aloe Vera – Not only does aloe vera have antibacterial and antiviral properties, but it is also naturally soothing. Aloe vera can help relieve symptoms of pink eye and speed healing – just spread a little aloe vera gel around your eye and eyelid for relief.
- Neem Oil – This substance is naturally soothing and it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Simply take some neem oil and apply it around your eye and eyelid before bed.
- Tulsi – Also known as holy basil, tulsi has natural anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. This herb can also protect your eyes from environmental irritants like smoke and allergens. To use this natural remedy, soak fresh leaves in boiled water for 10 minutes then let it cool slightly and use it as an eye wash. You can also soak a clean cotton pad in the mixture and place it over your eye.
- Colloidal Silver – Known for its healing properties, colloidal silver can help provide quick pink eye relief. Simply spread a little over the affected area and let it work its magic.
- Honey – This sweet substance has natural antibacterial properties which can help with pink eye. Try mixing ¼ teaspoon of honey in ¼ cup boiled water then place 1 to 2 drops in each eye every few hours, as needed.
- Saltwater – Saline solution, or sterilized salt water, can help to relieve symptoms of pink eye. Simply use the saline solution as an eye wash for immediate relief.
- Potatoes – It may sound a little strange, but placing slices of raw potatoes over your affected eye could help to relieve symptoms of pink eye. Chill the potatoes a little bit for added relief.
- Chamomile Tea – Similar to green tea, chamomile tea can be very soothing for pink eye. Just steep a chamomile tea bag in hot water then let it cool until you can handle it. Lay the tea bag over your infected eye for 15 minutes at a time.