Natural Remedies for Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is caused by inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin, clear tissue that lies on the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. It is caused by viruses, bacteria, irritants and allergies and is highly contagious in its viral and bacterial forms. Thankfully it’s not a dangerous condition, however if you have a newborn with conjunctivitis you will want to contact your child’s pediatrician immediately.

How can I tell if I have conjunctivitis?

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Redness in the white of the eye
  • Lots of tearing or watering of the eye
  • Swelling in front of the ears
  • Burning of the eyelids
  • Itching
  • Clear, thick drainage if a viral infection, gray or yellow drainage if a bacterial infection
  • Mild Pain
  • Runny nose and stuffiness
  • Sensitivity to light



How can I prevent conjunctivitis?

  • Don’t rub and touch your eyes.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially when in public places.
  • Never share personal towels, washcloths, tissues, or hand towels.
  • Change towels and bedding often
  • Do not share eye makeup


How can I treat conjunctivitis?

  • Do not wear contacts; remove as soon as you feel discomfort and wear eyeglasses instead.
  • Barberry plants, also known as Berberis vulgaris and mountain grape, can be boiled in water and cooled to make an eye rinse. It is an effective anti-bacterial.
  • Honey is an antibacterial. Mix 3 tablespoons with 2 cups of milk or water. Bring to a boil, dissolve the honey and wash the eyes with the mixture three or four times a day.
  • Use a slice of raw potato over the eye. It will help to reduce the swelling.
  • Make eyedrops out of goldenseal which has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and astringent properties. Steep 1/8 teaspoon of goldenseal with chamomile, comfrey and a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, then use as eye drops once strained and cooled.
  • Warm and cold compresses can help relieve the discomfort but be careful not to rub the eye.
  • If your eyes are terribly itchy, place used, cooled. chamomile tea bags on the eyes. The tannin will help to soothe them and the chamomile is an eye tonic.
  • Make an antibacterial eye wipe from apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 4 teaspoons of sterile water, soak a cotton ball in the mixture and wipe across the eyelid of the affected eye. Do the same with a drop of lemon juice in 2 teaspoons water.
  • Make a baking soda eyewash to relieve the itch. 1 teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of water will do the trick.
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