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8 Home Remedies for Treating Pink Eye

8 Home Remedies for Treating Pink Eye

Pink eye is not to be confused with merely bloodshot eyes, which are what you get when rubbing your itchy eyes during allergy season. Pink eye is known in medical terms as conjunctivitis, a condition characterized by the swelling of the conjunctiva – the mucous membrane that covers the eye’s front and lines the inside of the eyelids. Symptoms can include red eye, watering of the eyes, and the conjunctiva’s swelling – and in at least one type of red eye can also be accompanied by a pus or mucus discharge.

Three Types of Red Eye

The presence of red eye usually indicates a weakened immune system, per Even then, it will typically disappear in a week or two, although its fairly sudden arrival and discomfort can be as alarming to the patient as it is conspicuous and unsightly to others once they catch sight of the sufferer. Note that those suffering with a viral or bacterial form of red eye can be contagious to others.

There are three types of red eye, according to health experts, and that’s not counting those cross-country flights that take off from airports around midnight:

  • Viral pink eye. This is a contagious form of red eye, which is what can be described as an eye’s version of the common cold, per the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). There is no known treatment, although it will likely disappear in two weeks or less.
  • Bacterial pink eye. This is the form of conjunctivitis that often produces mucus or pus, and it can be treated with physician-prescribed antibiotics. Oftentimes your eyelids will stick because of the presence of the mucus or pus. Use a warm, wet washcloth to help unstick your eyes. Bacterial red eye can be spread through surfaces such as doorknobs, where bacteria can live for up to a week. That’s one more reason to thoroughly wash your hands frequently.
  • Allergic pink eye. The good news, at least for others who come inside your circle of social distance, is that allergic red eye is not contagious. It is caused by an allergen, such as pollen or pet dander, and an allergist can test you to find out exactly what your allergy kryptonite is. You should be able to go to school or work with this form of pink eye, although you might end up having to explain to others that you are “harmless” (not contagious).

Children Are Most Susceptible to Pink Eye

Per, school-aged boys and girls are most inclined to get red eye. That’s because children are playing with other children or at least making casual physical contact throughout the day, especially at school. Because prevention of close contact with other kids at school is pretty much next to impossible, it is recommended parents keep their infected children at home until their conjunctivitis goes away.

If the child is under the age of five, it is recommended that you take him or her to the pediatrician for an examination and possible treatment.

Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis

If you’re an adult who’s come down with a case of red eye, your best bet is trying home remedies, such as those shown below, but a visit to an ophthalmologist is recommended for any of the following, per AAO:

  • You’re suffering from pain or your sight is hindered.
  • You’ve become light-sensitive.
  • Symptoms have lasted beyond a week and might be getting worse.
  • Your eye’s production of pus or mucus seems excessive.
  • You are suffering with symptoms, such as fever or body aches, associated with other types of infections.

Following are eight redy eye home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms, even though it might take a week or two for symptoms to clear up:

  • Ibuprofen. This can help alleviate any pain, as can other over-the-counter painkillers.
  • Eyedrops. Otherwise known as “artificial tears,” lubricating eyedrops can help treat red eye.
  • Cool, damp washcloth. Place over your eyes while lying on a sofa or bed for a few minutes at a time for quick albeit temporary relief.
  • Zinc, per, which supports the immune system It can also help ward off or reduce the duration of colds.
  • Goldenseal. This herb is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent, which comprise a trifecta for treating pink eye. It also contains berberine, which can help fight back against infections and kill the bacteria associated with pink eye, per
  • Honey. It can play a role in ridding your eyes of bacteria, and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can assist in healing red eye while eradicating its symptoms.
  • Aloe vera. Rich in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics, aloe vera has shown impressive results in treating pink eye, per Eyedrops containing aloe vera extracts can eliminate related eye inflammation.
  • Coconut oil. It can help reduce dryness and inflammation, providing a soothing effect for the affected eye(s).

* Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. WonderLabs always recommends reviewing any nutritional supplement changes with your primary medical provider.