natural and alternative treatments and home remedies for Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis is commonly known as Pinkeye.

Image of a woman's eyes; one of them slightly pink

It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (clear tissue covering the white part of the eye and lining the inside of the eyelid).  It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, allergies or irritants like dirt or pool chlorine.  It often clears up without much attention, but if it is caused by a bacteria or virus, it is contagious.  It can be very serious in babies and should be attended by a doctor.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Blurred vision
  • Discharge
  • Green, yellow or white discharge
  • Increased tearing
  • Itching, burning sensations
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness in the white of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

PREVALENCE

The NCBI estimates that acute conjunctivitis affects 6 million people annually in the United States.

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

If it is caused by a virus, it is highly contagious and remains so until after tearing and matting have ceased (usually 3-7 days) If it is caused by a bacteria, it is said to be contagious until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has begun.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Bacterial conjunctivitis is most often treated with ophthalmic antibiotic eyedrops. Many cases clear up with home treatment and even with no treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial infections but that will not treat a viral infection.

A bacterial infection can damage eyes if untreated.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein. and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Coconut oil
  • Foods rich in antioxidants
  • Foods rich in Vitamin A
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C
  • Foods rich in vitamin E

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Beans (excluding green beans)
  • Greasy food
  • Heavy food
  • Processed foods (sugars, meats, grains)
  • Smoking

HERBS, TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Fresh coriander juice as an eye wash
  • Green tea bag, placed over the closed eye
  • Licorice root eyewash
  • Raw parsley juice, internally
  • Tulsi tea for an eyewash or compress
  • Turmeric diluted in water as a compress

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.

  • Lavender
  • Neem oil, topically around the eye
  • Roman chamomile
  • Tea tree

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Aloe Vera gel or extract
  • Avoid using makeup
  • Colloidal silver drops
  • Compresses to your eyes a few times each day
  • Eyedrops made of raw Manuka honey in water to use as a compress
  • Honey and water for eyedrops
  • Potato peels over closed eyes
  • Remove contact lenses
  • Salt and sterile water solution as eye drops

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure (http://pointfinder.org/conjunctivitis/)
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Homeopathy (http://www.homeopathycenter.org/pink-eye)

CAUTIONS

Preventing transmission of viral conjunctivitis is important. Both patient and provider should wash hands thoroughly and often, keep hands away from the infected eye, and avoid sharing towels, linens, and cosmetics. Infected patients should be advised to stay home from school and work. Those who wear contact lenses should discontinue lens wear until signs and symptoms have resolved.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Wash hands often and keep them away from your face
  • Use clean towels and washcloths every day; don’t share
  • Don’t use someone else’s cosmetics
  • Wear goggles while swimming

 

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