Last updated on January 8th, 2019 at 11:10 am
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become irritated, they’re more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.
Pink eye is commonly brought on by a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction, or – in babies – an incompletely opened tear duct.
Though pink eye can be annoying, it rarely impacts your vision. Treatments can help reduce the pain of pink eye. Because pink eye can be contagious, early medical diagnosis and treatment can assist limit its spread.
Pink Eye Home Treatments
Home treatment for pinkeye will help in reducing your pain and keep your eye free of drainage. If you wear contacts, remove them and wear glasses till your symptoms have actually disappeared entirely. Completely clean your contacts and storage case.
Cold compresses or warm compresses (whichever feels best) can be used. If an allergic reaction is the problem, a cool compress might feel better. If the pinkeye is triggered by an infection, then a warm, moist compress might relieve your eye and help reduce soreness and swelling. Warm, moist compresses can spread out infection from one eye to the other. Use a various compress for each eye, and use a clean compress for each application.
When cleaning your eye, clean from the inside (beside the nose) towards the outside. Use a clean surface for each clean so that drain being cleaned away is not rubbed back throughout the eye. If tissues or wipes are used, make sure they are put in the garbage and are not permitted to relax. If washcloths are used to clean the eye, put them in the laundry immediately so that nobody else selects them up or uses them. After cleaning your eye, clean your hands to prevent the pinkeye from dispersing.
You can follow with at home treatments for pink eye after pinkeye has actually been detected:
- To find out how to avoid the spread of pinkeye, see Prevention, mentioned below.
- Do not go to daycare or school or go to work until pinkeye has enhanced.
- If the pinkeye is brought on by a virus, the individual can usually go back to day care, school, or work when symptoms begin to improve, typically in 3 to 5 days. Medicines are not typically used to treat viral pinkeye, so avoiding its spread is necessary. Home treatment of the symptoms will help you feel more comfortable while the infection disappears.
- If the pinkeye is triggered by bacteria, the individual can typically return to daycare, school, or work after the infection has been dealt with for 24 hours with an antibiotic and symptoms are improving. Prescription antibiotic treatment generally kills the bacteria that cause pinkeye.
- Use medicine as directed. Medicine may include eyedrops and eye lotion.
For pinkeye associated to allergies, antihistamines, such as loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec), might assist relieve your symptoms. Do not give antihistamines to your child unless you’ve talked to the doctor first.
What you can do at home for pink eye? If you use contact lenses, you need to stop wearing them while you have pink eye. Ensure to clean your contacts thoroughly prior to you do begin to use them once again. Even better, get new contacts.
You should likewise stop wearing eye makeup while you have an infection. Throw away your old eye makeup and get brand-new makeup when your eyes are healthy.
Bacterial and Viral Pink Eye Home Treatments
Viral pink eye is like a cold. There is no treatment for the virus and typically you just need to let it run its course. Viral pink eye needs to go away within a week or more on its own.
Bacterial pink eye generally produces more mucus or pus than viral or allergic pink eye. Bacterial pink eye can be treated with antibiotics recommended by a doctor.
To reduce the symptoms of bacterial or viral pink eye you can:
- Put a warm, moist washcloth over your eyes for a few minutes
- To make a warm compress, soak a clean, lint-free washcloth in water then wring it out so it’s not leaking.
- Use a clean washcloth each time so you do not spread out the infection.
- If you have transmittable pink eye in both eyes, use a various washcloth for each eye.
- Take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever
- Use over the counter lubricating eyedrops (synthetic tears).
If your eyelids are sticking together, a warm washcloth can loosen up the dried mucus so you can open your eyes.
Allergic Pink Eye Home Treatments
If your conjunctivitis is triggered by allergic reactions, stopping the source of the allergy is important. The irritation will continue as long as you’re in contact with whatever is causing it.
Allergic pink eye is not contagious. You can still go to work or school with allergic pink eye and nobody else will catch it. To lower the symptoms of allergic pink eye you can:
- Take allergy medication or use allergic reaction eye drops.
- Put a cool, moist washcloth over your eyes for a few minutes.
- Use over the counter lubricating eyedrops (artificial tears).
Symptoms to Expect During Pink Eye Home Treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Eye pain continues or increases.
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia) develops.
- Signs of an infection establish.
- Symptoms become more severe or regular.
If you use contacts, make certain to remove your contacts when your eye issue begins.
Preventing the Pink Eye Spread at Home
Practice good health to control the spread of pink eye. For instance:
- Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Use a clean towel and washcloth daily.
- Don’t share towels or washcloths.
- Change your pillowcases often.
- Get rid of your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.
- Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care products.
The most safe method to prevent spreading pink eye is to stay at home – or keep your child at home – until eye discharge has stopped. Most schools and child care centers need that your child wait a minimum of 24 hours after beginning treatment before going back to school or childcare. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns about when your child can return to school or childcare.
Remember that pink eye is no more contagious than the common cold. It’s alright to return to work, school or childcare if you’re not able to take some time off — simply remain consistent in practicing good health.
Preventing Pink Eye in Babies
Newborns’ eyes are vulnerable to bacteria usually present in the mother’s birth canal. These bacteria cause no symptoms in the mom. In uncommon cases, these bacteria can cause infants to develop a major kind of conjunctivitis known as ophthalmia neonatorum, which needs treatment without hold-up to preserve sight. That’s why quickly after birth, an antibiotic ointment is applied to every newborn’s eyes. The lotion helps prevent eye infection.