As the most common type of eye infection, pink eye also has some other names, these names are Conjunctivitis, or Madras eye. It is usually an inflammation of the surface of your eye or the inner part of the eyelid. It is generally due to allergies, or an infection. The infection could either be viral or bacterial.
Looking at the Different Types by Causes
There are various forms of conjunctivitis out there and if you or someone you know is suffering from such condition, it is a good idea to find out exactly which type you have contracted.
Infectious Pink Eye
Viral Conjunctivitis — Viruses are the leading cause of conjunctivitis. They usually appear in the spring or late fall and are often accompanied by cold-like symptoms such as chest congestion and runny rose. With viral conjunctivitis the eyelids may be swollen and the eyes may be sensitive to light, along with water-like clear discharge from the eyes. This form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious and does not usually require antibiotics for treatment. The symptoms will normally last 1 to 2 weeks with the first 3 – 5 days being the worst.
- Redness in white portion of eye
- Itching and burning feel in eyelids
- Swelling in tender areas
- Release of excess tears
- Swelling of eyelids
- Watery eyes, with a slightly thick or whitish drainage
- Itchiness in or around the eye
- Usually starts in one eye but generally moves to other
Bacterial Conjunctivitis — The most common cause of bacterial conjunctivitis is Staphylococci and Streptococci though there are others. Common symptoms include eye pain, swelling, itching, redness, moderate to large amounts of discharge that is usually thick in consistency and yellowish or greenish in color and swelling of lymph nodes in front of the ears. This condition requires antibiotics to get rid of it. It is important to see a doctor as soon as you suspect this type of conjunctivitis to get started on a treatment.
- Redness in white portion of eye
- Swelling in upper eyelid followed by mild pain
- Watering eyes, with a yellow or greenish colored discharge
- Irritation and itchiness are very common
- Starts in one eye and spreads to other
Non-infectious Pink Eye
Allergies — Conjunctivitis caused by allergies is usually associated with intense itching, tearing, swelling, usually with little or no pain. The common causes are all the usual suspects, pollen, animal dander and dust, among others. This will often be accompanied by sneezing, itchy nose and scratchy throat.
Excessive tearing, discomfort, and itchiness, normally effects both eyes at the same time
Chemicals — Many chemicals can cause pink eye. Common chemicals associated with this are household cleaners, sprays of any kind, smoke, foreign objects, smog and industrial pollutants. If you have been exposed to anything like this that has caused such the type reaction, it is very important that you use lots and lots of water to flush your eyes out. If the irritation does not stop fairly quickly after washing your eyes, it may be necessary to either call poison control or see your local physician to find out if you need to do anything further.
- Redness in white portion of eye
- Swelling in upper eyelids
- Itching accompanied by mild pain
Underlying Diseases –Persistent pink eye can be a sign of something else going on in your body. For example, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Kawasaki’s Disease and certain inflammatory bowl diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease will sometimes cause conjunctivitis. If you are having a persistent problem, then it would be wise for you to see your physician to be checked for potential underlying problems.
Other Related Types You May Hear About
- Blepharoconjunctivitis- Dual combination of conjunctivitis and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
- Keratoconjusctivitis- Dual combination of conjunctivitis and keratitis (corneal inflammation).
- Episcleritis- Inflammatory condition that produces a similar appearance to conjunctivitis, without the tearing or any discharges.
List of Natural Home Remedies
Here we list top 15 remedies of conjunctivitis as below:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Use 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar by blending with one cup of water, then apply it on your eye with a towel after immersing the mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. For the apple cider vinegar benefits, you can read here.
2. Milk Yogurt
Using the cultured yogurt can also act as a good home remedy for the affected eye, because it includes the same beneficial bacteria for conjunctivitis
You can also use raw cow or goat milk or cultured yogurt because they contain the same beneficial bacteria that resisting pink eye.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil is good for your eyes to prevent eye irritation, you can put 1 drop on the eye and three times each day, it can be another natural remedy too.
4. Milk and Honey
Honey is beneficial for us to combat conjunctivitis due to bacterial infection, it can also be very powerful and effective. You can mix with milk and honey with equal quantity then warm them well. Simply use them as eye drop or a compressor to get better effect, besides, you can also apply the mixture to wash your affected eye.
As a natural antibiotic, garlic is usually used in infections including pink eye. Apply one drop of the garlic juice on your eyelids so that it can enter into your eye, keep repeatedly in every 30 minutes to an hour.
6. Tea Bags
Make a tea with bag with chamomile or black tea in it, put it in the hot water for several minutes. Then allow the tea bag to keep warm, here you should noted that it must not be hot since your eye area is very sensitive. Now apply the tea bag on your eye for about 10 minutes then leave it, just repeat it 3 times one day and it can provide a fast relief for you.
7. Lemon Juice
It can be also an effective way to get rid of your pink eye by using lemon juice. Put several drops of lemon juice on your finger after washing your hands and making them dry with a paper towel. Then utilizes them on the affected area around your eye.
8. Boric acid eyewash
Boric acid eyewash can be used to soothe and ease any discomfort associated with the condition.
9. Jasmine flowers
Jasmine flowers that have been soaked in distilled water overnight may be used as eye drops throughout the length of the condition. This completely natural method for treating the symptoms of conjunctivitis is perfect for eliminating yellow discharge from the eye.
10. Soak cotton balls
Another home remedy that kills the infection is to soak cotton balls in boiled saltwater, allow cooling, and placing on the lids of the eyes.
A compress brings soothing relief from pink eye. While cold compresses are used for allergic conjunctivitis, warm compresses are better for viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. A warm water compress is a great way to provide relief from itchy, irritated eyes that result from conjunctivitis. This method also works well for removing crusts from the eyelids and wiping away discharge, as well. A compress is made by dipping a clean piece of lint-free cloth in clean cold or warm water, squeezed out and applied gently to the closed eye.
Rose water can reduce the symptoms such as inflammation and redness effectively, Put 2 drops of rose water on your eye, sometimes you can mix it with some other herb like 1 tbsp of eyebright herb, for 10 minutes or so, then repeat it every 4 hours.
13. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera juice can be act as eyewash with water after cooling. Put it on the eye to relieve the symptoms naturally.
To reduce the infection and lessen the severity of the symptoms, as well as, shorten the incubation period, the patient should try to avoid starchy or sugary foods (including white bread, potatoes, cakes, jams, and puddings, as well). There are several foods that will assist in relief from symptoms as well as, shorten the duration of the illness. These foods include raw juices from specific vegetables including carrot and spinach juice. Studies have also show that foods containing Vitamin A (whole milk, butter, carrot, pumpkin, tomato, mango, papaya, and more) and foods with Vitamin B2 (leafy, green vegetables, milk, citrus fruit, almonds, bananas, and more) are great for patients affected with conjunctivitis.
15. Other Remedies
Some homeopathic pink eye remedies have also been used to provide relief and they include: the European meadow, eyebright herb, salt water, belladonna, pulsatilla and even breastmilk. However, there are guidelines that should be followed when using these remedies to prevent adverse effects.
Apart from the use of drugs and other remedies, other lifestyle practices prevent and reduce the risk of getting infected.
4 Tips on How to Stop the Spread of Conjunctivitis
So now you know the types and their symptoms, I’m going to give you some easy to follow advice that will save you, your friends and family from contracting the contagious forms of pink eye. Having suffered from the dreaded pink-eyed monster myself, I know that it can be something highly annoying, especially if you work with people. There is nothing worse than trying to deal with customers only to find that they run from you at the sight of your red eyes!
- Avoid contact with the infected eye – Try not to touch or rub your eye while you have conjunctivitis. I know this is easier said than done, considering how itchy your eye becomes but just remember if you do, you risk spreading it to your other eye, (unless it has already been infected) and your family members or friends who I’m sure won’t be very impressed!
- Keep a hand disinfectant with you at all times – This will greatly reduce the chances of spread. If you have to touch your eye because it is itching, apply the disinfectant immediately afterwards.
- Don’t share towels or cloths – This is just asking for trouble and will cause conjunctivitis to spread to multiple members of your family if you all share the same towel or cloths.
- Don’t share glasses, cups or plates that you have touched – All it takes is for a few bacteria to be passed onto a glass or cup you are sharing with someone and pink eye is contracted. You may not notice it at first, but when you wake up in the morning and your eyes are stuck together, you will regret sharing!
Conjunctivitis is a relatively minor problem in regards to the danger it poses to you, however, just remember that bacterial pink eye ‘can’ cause damage to your eye if it is left untreated for too long, so always check for the type and pay your doctor a visit. You all know how the saying goes: ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry.’
The high percentage of conjunctivitis without treatment can make for simple home remedies to work efficiently, but it always pays best to consult a medical specialist for such a matter. Home remedies for the allergic type can do well with cool water poured that is poured over the face. Eye drops or artificial tears will also work well in keeping itching out, as well as eliminating discomfort.
Antibiotics are often skipped and home remedies of the bacterial type would suffice for treatment of such. As healing from the ailment can span from 3 to 7 days, one should observe to check if it is possible not to use antibiotics or ointments for such. A cold compress applied over the affected eye can relieve the pain and itching, but if no development is seen in 3 days, medication must proceed.
There is also no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis, so home remedies of this type can be artificial tears, as well as washing of the eyes with cold water to relieve the pain. Touching is not allowed, and home remedies would have all materials used for drying off as well as other things that have been touched by one who is infected should be sterilized or thrown away.