Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is the inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and white part of the eyeball. Inflamed blood vessels turn pink or red, which makes them more noticeable. The good news is, the condition does not affect your vision, although it can be irritating and contagious.
Conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation, infection, or allergic reaction. Bacteria can enter the eye through rubbing, contaminated fluid, or a foreign object touching the eye.
Both viruses and bacteria can lead to conjunctivitis. If someone with conjunctivitis touches their eye and comes in contact with someone else or with objects other people may touch, an unsuspecting person may pick up the infection and develop pink eye. It is spread easily.
Natural remedies and lifestyle changes to treat conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Apply a cold compress to the infected eye
- Use over-the-counter eye drops to keep the eye lubricated
- Avoid wearing contact lenses while the infection is present
- Avoid allergens which could contribute to pink eye
- Wash your clothes frequently to remove allergens
- Bathe or shower prior to bed
- Soak Holy Basil in boiled water for 10 minutes and use the infused water as an eye wash
- Place steeped green tea bags on the infected eye – ensure it is cool enough, never apply hot liquid to your eyes
- Place aloe vera gel around the eye and eyelid
- Wipe neem oil around the eye and eyelid prior to bed
- Boil water with a teaspoon of boric acid and use it as an eyewash
- Use a solution of distilled water and salt as an eyewash
- Change your pillowcase
- Wipe a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and distilled water across your eye
Pink eye prevention
Conjunctivitis can be irritating, and you may have to isolate yourself for a while due to its contagiousness. Therefore, it’s best if you prevent the onset of pink eye altogether. Here are some effective tips to prevent conjunctivitis:
- Never touch your eyes – especially if your hands are dirty
- Always keep your hands clean
- Always clean your face with clean washcloth and towels
- Throw away old makeup, especially the products you use for your eyes (mascara, eyeliner)
- Don’t share eye cosmetics
- Don’t share towels or washcloths
- Get tested for allergies and avoid allergens
- Change pillowcases
- Clean contact lenses and clean them properly.
By following these tips, you can lower your risk and prevent the onset of conjunctivitis.