This medical condition is also referred to as conjunctivitis and refers to the inflammation of the thin membrane that covers the white section of your eyeball and the inner surface of your eyelid. When a person has pink eye there is drainage, pain, crustiness, and itchiness of the infected eye. It is highly contagious and can spread from one eye to the other so make sure before you do any treatment to get rid of pink eye that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after. When making eyewashes or water for any treatment to make sure that you are using sterile or filtered water, not tap water
1. Warm compresses with essential oils
Another home remedy to get rid of pink eye is to use an essential oil such as rose oil, lavender oil, or chamomile oil in your warm water for a soothing effect. Add a few drops of oil to your warm water, dip a clean washcloth in the water and use this one to help soften the crusted material that appears on your eyelid, especially after you wake up in the morning. You should do this treatment four to five times each day.
2. Tea bags
a. Chamomile tea bag—dampen the tea bag and put in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes. If you do not have any chamomile tea bags you can use black or green tea bags. When you place this cold tea bag over your infected eye you will get instant relief from the itchiness and pain.
b. Organic tea bags—combine one tea bag, two cupfuls of peroxide, filtered or sterile water, and the juice of a lemon. Steep all of these ingredients for twenty minutes. Take the tea bag and put it on your eye, so the mixture can drain into your infected eye. You will need to lie down for at least ten to fifteen minutes with the tea bag on your eye or you can use an eye patch to hold the tea bag in place. For the first few seconds you may feel some stinging but that is natural. To enhance the soothing relief you should repeat it twice a day.
c. Any variety of tea bags—this can include black tea, green tea, Orange Pekoe, etc. Steep a tea bag of your choice to make, one cup of tea. Remove the tea bag, but do not throw away and let the mixture cool, then pour it into a small jar. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of honey to the tea. When the salt has dissolved make sure the honey is stirred in and it is cool. Using a Q-tip apply a couple of drops into the eye that is infected going to the base of your eyelashes. Put the tea bag you made the mixture from on your eye and cover with a warm washcloth while lying down. Leave on at least ten minutes. Repeat a couple of times a day.
3. Pure Honey
A half cup of warm/cool water, add a teaspoon of honey. Stir well and put a couple of drops of this mixture in your infected eye. You may experience a stinging sensation when you do but try to add the drops to your eye several times during the day. This home remedy will help to reduce inflammation and pain. Make sure you check the honey before using it to ensure it is pure honey.
4. Cold compresses
To help with the pain and itching, apply a cool compress to the infected eye as many times a day that you can do so. Use a clean washcloth each time you do the treatment. Dip it in cold water, wring out excess water, and apply it to your eye.
5. Saline water
If you prefer to alternate with cold compresses you can use a hot compress or just use this type of compress instead. Soak your clean washcloth in warm saline water for five minutes, ring out the excess water, and dab it over your infected eyelid very gently. Continue doing this for ten minutes and then take another clean washcloth and dip it into water that is ice cold. Put an ice cube in this washcloth and put it over your infected eye for another ten to fifteen minutes.
6. Flushing the infected eye
When flushing the infected eye, do it with a mixture of a couple of drops of non-tear baby shampoo and warm water. Have someone to gently pour this mixture into the infected eye while you hold your head back over the sink. You can also put a drop of castor oil in the eye after flushing it out to quickly help get rid of the infection. You should the castor oil drops three times a day.
7. Over-the-counter pain relievers and eye drops
The best eye drops to use are Artificial Tears. Make sure that any eye drops you use contain saline. These types of eye drops will help to flush out the irritants and toxins along with soothing your eye. For the pain you can use acetaminophen like Excedrin or Tylenol. You can also use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID) like Aleve. Any of these can help to reduce the irritation and swelling associated with pink eye.
When you apply any mixture to your eyes use a clean cotton ball or Q-tip and use a clean washcloth when using compressed. You should wash your hands with an antiseptic hand wash first. Do not share your towel, washcloth, or pillow with anyone as you can pass the infection to them. Wash your sheets, towels, washcloths, and pillow case separately from everyone else and wash them in hot water.
9. Make eyewash
- Eyebright herb—this is an herb that is used in the treatment of any irritation in your eyes. Add one tablespoon of this herb to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for five minutes, and strain the leaves. Once cool wash your infected eye. Using this treatment you should be able to get rid of your pink eye in one day.
- Fennel—this herb was known as the herb of sight in ancient Rome. Add a few leaves to a cup of water and boil. Once cool, strain the leaves and it is ready to use as an eyewash. It will help to clear the cloudy vision that is sometimes caused by pink eye.
- Aloe Vera juice—you can this juice to wash your infected eye or use a clean washcloth soaked in the juice to use as a compress.
- Turmeric powder—in a cup of boiling water add two teaspoons of turmeric powder. Let cool and wash your eye with it or just use it in a mixture for hot compresses.
- Baking soda—in two cups of water mix one teaspoon of baking soda. This is one of the more efficient pink eyewashes.
- Boric acid—in one quart of boiling water add a tablespoon of boric acid. You should use this wash two to three times a day.
- Chamomile flowers—to one cup of boiled water add one teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers and let it steep for ten minutes. Strain before using it for an eyewash.
- Elderberry blossom tea
- Powdered root bark of barberry—make a tea by adding a teaspoon of the powder to a cup of water and boil for about thirty minutes. You can also use it in a warm compress. In barberry there is an antibacterial compound called berberine that can help with the inflammation.
10. Eat a carrot a day
Sometimes your case of pink eye can be caused by a vitamin A deficiency so eating a carrot a day or other foods rich in vitamin A such as cheddar cheese, whole milk, spinach, liver, corn, and potatoes. To help your body absorb vitamin A better take a zinc supplement. Zinc also has antiviral properties that can help get rid of pink eye caused by a virus.
11. Poultices for pink eye
- Live culture yogurt—use this type of poultice every day to help reduce the inflammation of your pink eye.
- Raw potatoes—grate a potato to make the poultice and place it on your affected eye before you go to bed at night. Leave it on for twenty minutes. Do this for three consecutive nights to get the best results. If you do not want to make a poultice you can just lay a slice of potato on the infected eye to help reduce inflammation because potatoes are an astringent.
12. Breast milk
This is one of the best home remedies for pink eye. It does need to be fresh breast milk. Put a couple of drops on a warm washcloth and put it on the infected eye for five to ten minutes, then repeat three more times to get rid of pink eye.