Conjunctivitis, commonly known as Pink Eye, is a mild infection that causes the inner eyelid to go slightly red hence the moniker. It is fairly common and complications might happen but only in rare cases. Here are more details about this condition and some natural remedies for pink eye relief.
What is conjunctivitis?
This condition is essentially characterized by an inflamed conjunctiva thus the name. The conjunctiva is that thin transparent tissue that covers the inner eyelid and the white part of the eye. When a person develops this condition, there is an inflammation in the conjunctiva which causes a slight redness in the white part of the eye. This is the reason why it is called the pink eye.
This condition is highly communicable and usually affects children. This is why pink eye is quite prevalent among schools. The good thing is that symptoms peter out fairly quickly especially if the condition is diagnosed immediately and treated appropriately. Another thing to be relieved about is that it rarely causes complications. However, even if it is not considered a serious health threat, if adequate and immediate remedies are introduced, the process of healing becomes a lot faster.
What causes pink eye?
There are many possible causes of pink eye. Among them are:
- Fungi, parasites, amoeba
- Allergic reactions to possible irritants such as dirt, smoke, pollen, eye drops, dust, shampoo, and other foreign objects
- Some sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea
- Wearing contact lenses especially overnight
- A blocked tear duct
- For newborn babies, bacteria in the mother’s birth canal
Any of these or a combination of some of those mentioned above can be the cause for the pink eye.
What are the types of pink eye?
There are different types of pink eye according to its cause. The first is called Viral conjunctivitis. As the name suggests, it is caused by viruses particularly those that cause flu or sore throat. In this type, one eye gets infected first and the second follows suit about a day or two after. This type of pink eye heals on its own but will usually take one to two weeks. The second is called Bacterial conjunctivitis. Caused by a bacteria, this type is milder than the first and is expected to resolve itself in two to five days with proper intervention. The usual intervention is to take antibiotics either in ointment form or orally. Finally, there is Allergic conjunctivitis. This is caused by an allergic reaction to practically any foreign object like dust, pollen, mold, and so on.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
As the name obviously shows, the most basic signs are redness in the white part of the eye and there is inflammation in the conjunctiva. Other tell-tale signs are these yellow crusts on top of the eyelashes. Sometimes, persons suffering from this condition have difficulty opening their eyes especially when they wake up in the morning. This is because the crusts can make the eyelids stick shut. Other symptoms include itchiness and a burning sensation in the eyes, eye discharges (greenish, yellowish, or whitish), blurred vision, and sensitivity to the light. Once diagnosed, your physician will inform you about what can be done to attain pink eye relief.
Natural remedies for pink eye relief
As mentioned earlier, pink eye rarely causes complications. It is a mild infection that even goes away on its own accord without medical intervention. However, there are remedies out there that can speed up the healing process. Here are some natural remedies for pink eye relief.
- Warm compress. Prepare a washcloth and soak it in warm water. Wring it until damp. You can then place it over your eyes for a few minutes. This can address pink eye concerns such as itchiness, burning, and inflammation. You can do this intermittently throughout the day.
- Cold compress. There are some who are more comfortable with using a cold compress rather than a warm one. Follow the same procedure as the warm compress preparation now with cold water involved.
- Eye bath. Flush your eyes with clean water preferably warm. Dry them with a clean towel. Do not reuse the towel until it has been properly washed. Make sure no one else uses the towel until it is properly disinfected. This will prevent further spread of the condition.
- Saltwater solution. To remove crusts, you can use a disposable cotton swab dipped in hot water infused with salt. A good ratio would be two teaspoons of salt per liter of water. If you want to use only half a liter, just add one teaspoon of salt.
What are some pink eye relief don’ts?
In order to hasten the process of getting rid of this condition, steer clear from all these practices so you can have pink eye relief in no time.
- Do not use anti-red eyes drops. This might cause more harm than good especially for other types of pink eye.
- Do not self-medicate. Proper diagnosis means appropriate intervention.
- Do not touch or rub your eye. This will further irritate it and you become the medium by which the virus or bacteria gets passed on.
- Do not forget to wash your hands with warm water and anti-bacterial hand soap. This is really important especially after cleaning your eye.
- Do not use any type of eye make up. The lesser the risk of further infection, the better.
- Do not share towels, pillows, bed sheets, and other things that you have held or have come in contact with our eyes or their discharges. This will prevent the condition from spreading in the house and in school.
- Do not send your child to school if you suspect him/her to have pink eye. Have it diagnosed and let him/her stay in school until the symptoms peter out.
- Do not share using shirts, utensils, and other pertinent things throughout the duration of the pink eye. This will prevent the spread of pink eye in the community.
When do you see the doctor?
Given the seeming simplicity of the condition, it does not mean proper intervention should be done. You have to seek help if you notice the following symptoms:
- Continued symptoms over a relatively long period of time
- Discharges (yellowish, greenish, whitish)
- Light sensitivity
- High fever vision loss, face pain, high fever, shaking chills
- Newborns with pink eye should be brought to the doctor immediately to avoid complications
While pink eye is not a life-threatening condition, pink eye relief is something that can be hastened with the right intervention. From natural home remedies to medical prescriptions like antibiotics, there are many ways to achieve pink eye relief safely and quickly.