We've all seen an unfortunate soul suffering from
pink eye, an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of the
eye. When your child is sporting a pink eye, you really want a safe,
easy solution and to relieve the symptoms as quickly as possible.
Luckily for you, pink eye has been around for centuries and people have
come up with a number of home remedies to deal with it.
What Type of Pink Eye
There are two types of pink eye, viral and
bacterial. Both are incredibly unpleasant but they have different traits
Viral pink eye: Viral pink eye is extremely
contagious and typically marked by clear, watery drainage. This form of
pink eye often starts with one eye and moves to the other. Unfortunately
there is no antibiotic treatment available for viral pink eye, meaning
patients usually have to let it run its course. This typically takes
between four and seven days.
Bacterial pink eye: Bacterial pink eye is marked by
greenish yellow fluid draining from the eyes and is also highly
contagious. Luckily, there are antibiotic eye drops that can deal with
this form of pink eye. It's important to deal with it right away as this
form of the infection is also likely to spread from one eye to the
other. Some people opt for the treatments listed below to avoid the
It's typically difficult to tell which form of pink
eye your child has without going to the doctor, so make sure you do!
Allergic pink eye: Sometimes what appears to be pink eye is actually
just an intense allergic reaction. This is obvious if your eyes have
come directly in contact with chemicals or other allergens but might be
something less clear such as a concentration of animal dander or pollen.
You can usually get rid of this by rinsing out the eyes for a solid few
minutes. If your or your child’s reaction is caused by a
liquid with a high concentration of chemicals or another kind of
chemical, you should call a doctor as soon as you've finished rinsing
the eyes out.
Unfortunately, these treatments don't come with any
guarantee of eliminating pink eye altogether, but they all provide some
level of comfort and have had some success getting rid of bacterial pink
eye. Give one of these treatments a try:
1. Honey: Honey has been proven to reduce the amount of bacteria
found in eyes in patients who suffered from dry eyes in this study and
people from all over the world consider it one of the best home remedies
for many different purposes. Mix half a teaspoon of raw honey into a
quarter cup of water and add a small pinch of salt. The water should be
warm but not hot. If you're concerned about how clean your water is you
can boil it first and let it cool part way. Place one to two drops of
this mixture in each eye every few (four or five) hours until the
infection is gone.
2. Herbal tea poultices: You can use calendula, chamomile, fennel,
and/or eyebright teas to create a heat compress. Eyebright can also be
taken as a supplement or tea. These solutions are good for any kind of
eye inflammation or irritation. Do not use calendula or chamomile if you
are allergic to ragweed. Many health professionals also recommend you
avoid chamomile during pregnancy and nursing, although this is highly
contested in the medical field.
3. Salt water wash: You have two options here; you can purchase a
saline solution specifically for eye infections or you can create your
own mixture at home. Saline drops from the store might come with
medications specifically to deal with pink eye or inflammation, but the
right mixture of salt in water should be enough to get rid of minor
cases of pink eye. Boil one cup of water with a teaspoon of salt so the
salt dissolves completely and then let the liquid cool to room
temperature. Use this mixture to rinse your eyes several times per day,
and at least five. You'll want to make a new batch every day to avoid
4. Boric acid: Boric acid is a weak acid based on boron and is
typically used as an anti-bacterial solution for cuts and other
injuries. It's also commonly used to treat athlete's foot. To treat pink
eye with boric acid, you'll want to mix it with some water and use it as
an eye wash three times a day until the infection disappears.
How to Prevent Pink Eye
Once you've gotten rid of it, you can stop pink eye
from coming back by taking the following precautions:
Make sure your children wash their hands thoroughly and frequently.
They should avoid rubbing and touching their eyes.
Avoid sharing face cloths and hand towels.
Wash their pillow cases and anything else that comes into close
contact with their eyes regularly.
Your kids might still get pink eye from somebody
they come in contact with while they’re out and about but these
precautions can drastically decrease the risk of infection.
Olivia Johanson is the mom of two, and a home remedy addict. If you have any questions about or tips for home
remedies, hop over to EveryHomeRemedy.com and leave her a comment.