Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, refers to inflammation of the transparent membrane, called the conjunctiva, that covers the white part of the eye and lines the eyelid. Conjunctivitis causes the small blood vessels in the eye to become inflamed and visible, giving the white part of the eye a pinkish hue, hence the nickname pink eye. Conjunctivitis causes discomfort but doesn’t typically affect vision. It can appear in one or both eyes. It’s not a serious condition but can be highly contagious.1,2
What Causes Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis causes range from bacterial and viral infections to allergies. Some less common conjunctivitis causes include chemicals, irritation from contact lenses, pollution, fungi, foreign bodies in the eye, or eye injuries.
The types of bacterial and viral infections that cause conjunctivitis are highly contagious. Risk increases for children and professionals working in a healthcare setting since they are more likely to be exposed to and contract the bacterial or viral infections that cause conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis varies depending on the person and environmental factors. Types of conjunctivitis that are a result of irritation, such as contact lens wear, are not contagious.3,4
Conjunctivitis can affect anyone at any age, including infants. When infants contract conjunctivitis, it is called neonatal conjunctivitis and requires medical care since infections in newborns can be extremely dangerous. Neonatal conjunctivitis can be caused by irritation, infection, or blocked tear ducts.5
Conjunctivitis symptoms include:
Although conjunctivitis is not a serious condition and can go away on its own, it’s best to consult your doctor if you experience conjunctivitis symptoms. If left untreated, permanent eye damage can occur. Receiving treatment early can also reduce the risk of spreading bacterial or viral conjunctivitis to other people since the condition can remain contagious for up to two weeks after symptoms arise. Avoid wearing contacts, touching your eye, or sharing cosmetics, eye drops, or towels with anyone else.6
Conjunctivitis treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibacterial eye drops or ointments while viral conjunctivitis is treated with antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medications. Artificial tears and warm compresses can help relieve inflammation and irritation. Conjunctivitis herbal remedies can also help in reducing symptoms. This can include homemade eyewashes or immune-boosting vitamins and minerals that help fight the underlying cause.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the most effective natural product for Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends
Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a 1/2 glass of water. Soak a cotton ball and close the affected eye and wipe it.
Put a teabag in a cup of hot water and let it cool down, then place the teabag on the afflicted eye. You can use green or black tea.
Colloidal silver is a traditional natural remedy for curing conjunctivitis in children and infants. Use 1-2 drops of colloidal silver 3-4 times daily until cured.
Fennel seed is a natural eyewash remedy for conjunctivitis. Boil fennel seeds in water, then strain. Use the water as an eyewash twice daily until cured.
Chamomile can be used to help fight a conjunctivitis infection without causing irritation. Boil 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flower in 1 cup of water. Wait until water cools and then strain. Use water as an eyewash twice daily to help cure conjunctivitis quickly.
Calendula can be used to make hot compresses.