Conjunctivitis or Pink eye is one of the most contagious viral infections mankind faces. Once contracted it tends to spread rapidly from one eye to other and from one person to other often bringing literally entire families to ‘tears’. In such a scenario, a set of wonder remedies for pink eye could be duly helpful.
A pink eye is the inflammation of the most superficial layer of the eyeball called as the conjunctiva. It’s a transparent membrane covering the white of the eye and the cornea. A pink eye can be due to a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. It can also be the result of an allergy to dust, pollen, paint or irritant fumes. Common symptoms are excessive watering, itching, burning, and redness. The eye becomes swollen and causes much discomfort; thus the name ‘sore eye’. In case of allergic pink eye, there might be associated sneezing, intense itching or a runny nose. Bacterial infections tend to have thick green or pus like discharge while viral infections have a thin, watery discharge.
Commonly viral and one of the commonest viral infections (agent-adenovirus) that monsoon inflicts upon tropical areas, it is usually a self-resolving condition that is overcome by a healthy immune system in about 10-15 days. Any infections lasting longer than that or developing any unusual symptoms like a membrane over the conjunctiva should be immediately referred to a qualified ophthalmologist.
Few things to be kept in mind before you try any of the remedies for pink eye:
Preventing spread of infection to the other eye and others at home is foremost.
Washing hands every time you touch the face or eye is essential.
Change or wash the pillow covers each day till the eye is normal again.
Keep towels, pillow covers, etc away from other family members. Use paper tissues instead.
Use warm compresses over the infected eye to reduce swelling, warmth and redness.
Wash your eye few times a day with lukewarm water. Be careful while wiping them dry. First clean the un-infected eye.
Do not repeatedly touch or rub the infected eye. Wipe the tears or discharge with disposable tissues.
Do not touch the un-infected eye after having touched the infected eye.
While sleeping, lie on the side of the infected eye. This will prevent infection of the other eye by a dripping discharge.
Do not wear contact lenses till eyes are normal again.
Avoid using or sharing eye make-up.
Do not use any kind of patches, covers over the eye. Leave it open. Keep it clean.
Here are a few remedies for pink eye from age old wisdom that shall help you get rid of the pink eye faster:
1. Coriander – Make a decoction by boiling handful of dry coriander in about 50-60 ml water. Filter and allow it to cool. Use this filtered juice as eyewash 2-3 times a day. People with chronic bronchitis and bronchial asthma must avoid this.
2. Chamomile – It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Make eyewash in a similar fashion as described above. One can soak a towel in the filtrate and use it as a compress too.
3. Fennel seeds and elderberry blossom tea – both these can be used separately or together as a compress/eyewash to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation.
4. Turmeric – turmeric has been proved to have anti-inflammatory properties. Prepare 2 cups of boiled water containing a pinch of turmeric. Soak a towel in this and use as a compress on the affected eye 2-4 times a day for great results.
5. Aloe Vera – its juice or gel can be used either as eyewash or as a compress.
6. Baking soda – Prepare 1 tsp of baking soda in 2 cups of warm water. Use this concoction to wash the eyes 2-3 times a day. It works rapidly towards reducing the swelling and redness.
7. Tea – placing hot tea bags on the eyes has been thought to be effective in reducing the inflammation. You may do this twice daily.
8. Boric acid – Steep 1 tbsp of boric acid in 250 ml water. Dip a gauze piece or clean cloth in this solution. Apply over affected eye and allow it to dry. Wash off the eye after it has dried.
9. Raw potato – Surprisingly, raw potato is also regarded as one of the pink eye remedies. Make slices of cold raw potatoes. Place it over the affected eye to reduce the itching and give a calming sensation. Leave it on the eye for 15-20 minutes each night till inflammation subsides.
10. Honey – Pour 3 tbsp of honey in 2 cups of boiling water. Stir to dissolve and allow the mixture to cool. Use this to wash the eye as often as desired during the day.
If despite all these remedies for pink eye, the symptoms continue to worsen or newer symptoms keep cropping up, rush to your ophthalmologist. It should not be taken lightly as there are chances of permanent loss of vision.
– Dr. Rachita Narsaria