Getting Rid of Conjunctivitis: 5 Trusted Home Remedies
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common ailment that can make the eyes appear pink or red. Pink eye may resemble the common cold because the symptoms are always mild, and most cases go away independently. The major causes of pink eye include viruses, bacteria, and allergies.
Home remedies may depend on the type of pink eye you have. Most people use antibiotics for the symptoms. However, there are better treatment options for pink eye besides relieving the symptoms.
We’ve outlined the most effective home remedies for taming the redness and itching without visiting the hospital.
But first, let’s look at the different types of conjunctivitis.
Different Types of Conjunctivitis
It’s important to note that there are different types of pink eye. And not all cases of conjunctivitis are treatable at home. Thus, while various home remedies may ease the symptoms of conjunctivitis, it’s always best to consult a health professional first. Some eye infections can be severe and would need special care.
We have three main types of pink eye:
- Allergic Conjunctivitis: This is the most common of all the three types. It’s non-contagious, and its symptoms fade after a short time. It primarily occurs due to allergens like dust and pollen.
- Viral Conjunctivitis: It’s commonly referred to as pink eye and is highly contagious. Most viruses that cause pink eye are easily spread through hand-to-eye contact. You can also get the condition by handling objects or surfaces contaminated with infectious viruses. Viral conjunctivitis clears in 7 to 14 days without medication. But severe cases might last up to 3 weeks.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This is the most highly contagious form of conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when the eye’s mucous membrane begins to discharge white, green, or yellow fluid from one of the eyes. This condition will also resolve in a week or two, but you can use antibiotics to relieve the pain.
Typically, conjunctivitis is self-limiting. However, consult a doctor if the condition worsens or the symptoms persist.
A doctor’s prescription may work faster than home remedies, yet home remedies may still be helpful. You will achieve similar results but after a more extended period.
Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis
Pink eye is treated by clearing out the infection or allergic reaction. Home remedies also include what you need to do to stop conjunctivitis from spreading.
Warm or Cool Compresses
Several studies have shown that compresses can relieve inflammation and help you see well. It would help if you had a cool or warm towel and put it over your eyes for a few minutes. You should repeat the process at least three times a day.
Effective compresses should eliminate discharge from the infected eye(s). Watch the clothing you use for the compress; a dirty or reused cloth may spread the infection to the other eye.
A warm compress reduces the blockages caused by the style and provides relief, but it will not cure the condition. Follow the below tips to make a warm compress.
- Soak a clean cloth in warm water. Put it over your eyes gently.
- The cloth should be very clean and not reused.
Disinfect Home Surfaces
The viruses don’t go away that easily. Most of them find an alternative home on different surfaces in your home. So many people get rid of the pink eye symptoms only for them to end up re-infecting themselves.
Run disinfectant on all dry surfaces. Also, get disinfectant wipes to clear up any other surfaces that might be home to the viruses. If you disinfect every area of your home, you minimize the chances of spreading conjunctivitis to another family member.
Don’t just clean the house. Disinfect the hard surfaces too.
Saline drops or solution is a proven alternative as first aid therapy for allergic conjunctivitis. It’s a mixture of warm water and salt, which you can use to flush out the irritant from your eyes.
In what is known as eye irrigation, you can use a warm saline solution for rinsing the eyes.
Have you ever heard of tea bags being used to calm the mind and allow you to relax? A cool tea bag on your eyes can reduce inflammation and improve your puffy appearance.
Certain tea bags with anti-inflammatory properties can reduce swelling in the eyes. For effective results, soak the tea bags in warm water and let them cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
You can take a bag and put it over one eye. The bags may make the blood vessels near your eyes smaller, easing puffiness.
Tea bags may ease anti-inflammatory symptoms but are not treatments for an eye infection.
Avoid Touching Your Eyes and Wash Your Linens Regularly
We already discussed some of the most contagious types of pink eye. If you touch the infected eye and then rub your other eye, you will end up infecting both eyes.
Touching contaminated objects or surfaces also poses a significant risk. If you must touch your eyes, ensure you wash and disinfect your hands before and afterward. Also, don’t reuse any tissue or clothing that has been in contact with the affected surface or eye.
It would be best if you also stopped wearing contacts until there were no more symptoms. Since your towels and pillows come into contact with the infected eye, ensure you wash them daily. Use hot water and disinfectant to clear out bacteria.
When to Contact a Doctor
Homemade therapy may only work if you already know the type of conjunctivitis you have. Pink eye may resolve on its own, but you need to see a doctor when you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Eye discharge
- Sensitivity to light
- Impaired vision
- Persistently red eyes
Allergic and viral conjunctivitis are the easiest to manage at home. Typically, the symptoms resolve within 14 days. However, most home remedies are subjective and may not be effective for everyone. Many people feel better after using these methods, but you should always see a doctor if you feel uncertain about your situation.