If you have conjunctivitis your eyes can get insanely reddish and you might start to look like an alien. It can get really itchy and irritating at the same time. If you are having this disease due to a bacterial or viral infection then it can damage your eyes, so you will need the help of a Doctor to get out of the condition. Also, remember that conjunctivitis due to bacterial or viral infections can easily spread to other people from you. So keep your eyes properly protected. While you are using the medications and eye drops advised to you by a Doctor, you can use some simple home remedies mentioned here to ease your pain and irritation.
Why do you get it?
You can easily confirm you have conjunctivitis yourself when you have itchy and irritating eyes along with sticky secretions. When this condition gets worse, your eyes will feel painful and be irritating with simple eyelid motions. It is mainly caused due to bacterial or viral infection in the conjunctiva, a transparent lining on your inner eyelids. This infection leads to inflammation which causes burning, irritating, and itchy sensation in the eyes.
It can also be caused due to other reasons such as allergic reaction to pollen, cosmetics, cleaning solution used for contact eyes, and other foreign substances. Apart from causing irritation, and burning sensation to your eyes, it will also make your eyes to discharge a sticky fluid which can shut your eyelids completely while sleeping.
Immediate relief measures
- Hot Compress: Excessive sticky discharge can be disturbing. Take a clean washcloth and soak it in warm water, wring it and use it clean up the eyelids and eyelashes so that you will feel little better. Repeat this process multiple times a day whenever you feel the need to clean up your eyes.
- Cold Compress: Just like hot compress, you can make a cold compress using a clean washcloth and lay it over your affected eyes to bring down itchiness and swelling. This is especially very useful when you have conjunctivitis due to allergies. Do it as often as you want.
- Mix one part of baby shampoo with ten parts of clean warm water. Soak a small cotton ball into this solution and use it to wipe away the crusty material and fluids sticking to your eyelids and eyelashes and ease up the eyelid movements.
- Boil half a liter of fresh clean water for 10 to 15 minutes in low flame and dissolve a teaspoon of salt in it. Cool down this solution to room temperature. Once the solution is cooled, make use of a sterile eye dropper to wash your eyes. This will ease down the pain and burning sensation.
- Goldenseal has natural antibacterial and anti-infection properties which is due to the presence of a chemical compound called berberine in it. To goldenseal eyewash at home, boil a cup of fresh and clean water along with 1 teaspoon of dried goldenseal for 10 minutes. Strain out the extract and let it cool down. Make use of a sterile eye dropper to apply this solution to your eyes two to three times a day.
Before going to bed
Sticky fluid discharge from your eyes can make your eyelids glued shut. To prevent this you can use the eye drops or ointments prescribed by the Doctor. While applying the drops make sure the tip of the eye dropper or eye-drop bottle does touch your eyelids directly. Direct contact can contaminate the medicine and make it ineffective when you reuse it the next time.
Soothe your irritation and pain
- Chamomile tea bags can be used to reduce the pain and burning sensation in the eyes. Just tip the tea bag in warm water (not hot) for 2 to 3 minutes and squeeze out the excess liquid present it. Keep your eyes shut and place the tea bag over your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this three to four times a day and make use of a fresh tea bad every single time.
- Cilantro leaves are traditionally used in India to treat conjunctivitis. In fact, it plays a major role in Ayurveda as well due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Make a paste of fresh cilantro leaves with water using a blender. Squeeze out the excess liquid out of the paste and apply the pulp over closed eyes and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. You can wipe away the pulp using a clean washcloth. Do this once or twice every day to speed up the healing process.
- Similar to cilantro leaves, coriander seeds are also effective in treating conjunctivitis. Add one teaspoon of coriander seeds to a cup of boiling water and let it boil in low flame for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain out the seeds and cool down the liquid. Once its cool, Bathe your closed eyes with it. Make sure to dry out your eyes completely before opening the eyelids.
Contain the infection
- Infection in one eye can very easily spread to the other one if you do not take proper precaution. If you use contact lenses then do not use them till the condition is cured completely. If you were using any eye makeup after the occurrence of the infection then throw it away immediately.
- Conjunctivitis can get very itchy at times. But avoid direct contact with eyes using bare your hands. If you have touched it accidentally then wash it off thoroughly with a hand wash or soap and dry it with tissues, paper towel or air dryer. Do not use a hand towel or any other cloth to dry your hands.
- In case if you have to dab your eyes for some reason, make use of separate tissues for each eye and throw it in a plastic bag immediately. Tightly seal this plastic bag before disposing of. After disposing of the plastic bag wash your hands with a soap or hand wash thoroughly.
- Carry a small bottle or small pouch of anti-bacterial hand gel where ever you go and use it as often as needed. This is easily available in most pharmacies or drug stores.
- Till the condition is healed completely, put the dishes you use in a dishwasher yourself and clean them yourself. Do not let anyone else in your family handle it.
- Wash your towels, pillow covers, clothes, and other clothing yourself and separately every day. Do not let anyone in your family use them till your condition is healed. When any member of your family uses your pillow covers you can potentially infect their eyes as well. Same goes for towels and clothing.
- Always have someone else make your bed, as the viruses or bacterias could be sticking to your hands and making your bed yourself, you could reintroduce the viruses and bacterias.
- If your child is suffering from conjunctivitis then you should let him stay home from school. By this way, you can prevent other kids from the school catching hold of infection.
Three types of Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye
There are about three types of pinkeye which are viral, bacterial, and allergic. As all of them look and feel the same with similar symptoms, you need to go through appropriate tests as advised by a professional Doctor to rightly diagnose the real reason behind it.
- Viral conjunctivitis usually affects one eye but it may or may not affect spread to the other eye.
- Gives out watery discharge
- Makes the eyes reddish.
- Causes irritation and burning sensation.
- It usually affects only one eye, but it can spread to the other eye.
- Causes irritation, redness, and gritty feeling.
- Make the eyes give out copious discharge.
- It usually attacks both the eyes simultaneously.
- Will cause severe itching.
- Will cause constant tears.
- Make the eyelids swollen.
When to seek Doctor’s help?
Mild pinkeyes that are caused due to viral infections usually heal itself within a week’s time. But severe viral infections can cause eye damage and can be very painful, so bring it the attention of a Doctor immediately. Prolonged infection (over 10 days) needs immediate medical attention. In some cases, a person affected by conjunctivitis can have blurred vision and eyes can get very sensitive to light. If you experience these symptoms then you need to get it checked by a Doctor as soon as possible.
To Treat Allergic Conjunctivitis
Pinkeyes due to allergies can be treated orally to reduce the inflammation and soothe itching.
- Allergic conjunctivitis is usually very itchy and gives out a stringy discharge. You can take oral antihistamines to ease itching and inflammation.
- Vitamin-C and Quercetin have anti-inflammatory properties that combat the inflammation caused by allergies. Doctors recommend taking 1000 milligrams worth of Vitamin-C supplements every day in divided doses. 1500 milligrams of quercetin can also be taken in divided doses every day to heal out of allergies quickly.