Pinkeye is a common infection which can be transmitted through contact with surfaces, infected individuals, or general allergic reactions. While pinkeye is often uncomfortable and causes swelling, tearing, itching, and most noticeably pinkish coloration within the eye, (hence the name) it’s very common and not life threatening. In most cases the infection will clear up on its own, generally within 7 to 10 days. To quicken the process and ease irritation there are a variety of easy cures which may be put to use. There are three general variations of pinkeye (also referred to as Conjunctivitis) which must be established in order to apply the appropriate solution. These variations are viral pinkeye, bacterial pinkeye, and allergic pinkeye. Depending on what type of pinkeye you have, the available range of cures will be different. Once you identify the branch of pinkeye a wide variety of cures may be used ranging from honey to breast milk.
- Symptoms of viral pinkeye infection include spread from one eye to another, and clear, watery drainage. Once simple cure for viral pinkeye is apple cider vinegar, which you can prepare by boiling distilled water and adding ½ tablespoon of apple cider into an eyedropper. The vinegar you apply will cause a somewhat painful, brief burning sensation though the amount applied directly effects how potent the solution will be as well as how much relief is provided.
- Symptoms of bacterial pinkeye are typically marked by greenish yellow drainage from the eye. A very effective natural remedy for this variation of pinkeye is Colloidal Silver. Colloidal fluids are solutions in which a material is spread within water at a microscopic level, in this case silver is the material which results in an almost completely water like solution. Two drops in each eye will do. In most cases use of silver results in the pinkeye being cured within two days, but in some cases results have been seen sooner or later. Doctors advise not to continue using Colloidal Silver after two days as repeated use may cause unnecessary damage to the eyes.
- Symptoms for an allergic pinkeye are clear, watery drainage, which is usually caused by seasonal pollens, animal dander, cosmetics, and perfumes. Unlike the other two, allergic pinkeye is not contagious. A common solution for this type of pinkeye is honey. The type of honey used can vary. Honey naturally carries antibacterial properties though unpasteurized honey is often considered as effective as antibiotics. The honey can be prepared with ¼ tablespoon of raw honey, ¼ cup of distilled water, and an optional pinch of salt. Dissolve the raw honey and salt in warm water. If your water is not super pure (Tap water), consider boiling it. Using a clean dropper, place a 1-2 drops in each eye every few hours as needed.
In the event of allergic pinkeye a cool damp cloth can be applied to the affected eye. To further increase effectiveness soak the cloth in aloe juice. If the infection is bacterial or viral a warm cloth will typically feel better and achieve the same results. When applying the cloth wipe from your tear ducts to the rest of your eyes. Make sure that whatever fabric you are using is clean to prevent further irritation, baby wipes are an excellent choice. Remember to clean whatever is used as well as your hands to keep from spreading the infection further. A similar soothing, though less effective long term solution can be obtained from potatoes and bread. Simply cut two slices from either and place the slices over your eyes. This will also result in a cool, relaxing sensation.
Flushing the infected eye with water is another common option. This process may also be enhanced through adding a variety of different teas and remedies to the solution. Common additives include eyebright, elderberry, and fennel seeds. Simply allow them to soak into boiling water, allow the water to cool, and then apply 1-3 drops of either into the infected eye. Continuous usage is suitable and will aid in the healing processes. 1-4 applications should be used daily to achieve the best results.
Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the phrase could not be truer. There are a vast amount of cures which can be applied to pinkeye though the best solution will always be to avoid contact with the infection. Fortunately Pinkeye is one of the easier infections to prevent and employing a few simple precautions will be sure to crush almost any chance of acquiring it. It almost goes without saying the first most important and easy step will always be to wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is paramount as the infection is almost always spread through contamination on the hands reaching the eyes. Any cloth which is used to wipe your eyes should always be washed before and after use to keep spread to a minimum or prevent infection to begin with. Make sure that any cloth used is kept to yourself and not shared with any other individuals. Refrain from applying makeup or any cosmetics which have been used by anyone else as well since in both cases if the owner had been infected around roughly the same time as usage there is a very high chance that the infection will spread. Contact lenses are also a potential cause of pinkeye due to the chemicals they are placed in to keep them clean to avoid irritation thoroughly dry the lens or use disposable lenses.