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Home Treatment for Pink Eye

After your healthcare provider diagnoses you with pink eye, options for treating the condition will be discussed. Various types of home treatments for pink eye are available, including over-the-counter antihistamine/decongestant drops, warm or cool compresses, and artificial tears. Damp tea bags, salt water, honey, and chamomile are other remedies that are claimed to be effective.

Pink Eye Home Treatment: An Overview

When people think of "pink eye," it usually refers to a condition that healthcare providers call conjunctivitis. However, a number of different conditions can cause a red or pink eye. If you develop a pink eye, it is recommended that you visit your healthcare provider so its causes can be determined and appropriate treatment started.
Once you are given an accurate diagnosis, there are a couple of different home remedies for pink eye that your healthcare provider may recommend, especially when diagnosed with viral or allergic conjunctivitis.
If you search the Internet for pink eye home treatments, you are sure to come up with all sorts of choices. Damp tea bags, jasmine, salt water, honey, and chamomile are just a few things that are claimed to help clear a pink eye infection. However, the reality is that the great healer of pink eye in most cases is time.

Specific Home Remedies for Pink Eye

With viral conjunctivitis, no treatments will "cure" pink eye; only time will. However, for relief of itching or irritation, you can try one of the following:
  • Over-the-counter antihistamine/decongestant drops. These are available at your pharmacy and go by several names, such as Ocuhist®, Naphcon-A®, and Visine® AC (to name a few). Ask your pharmacist for help if you are having trouble finding them.
  • A warm or cool washcloth on your eyes (whichever feels better). Cool compresses may work better for allergies, while warm might feel better for an infection. Compresses can be used several times a day for one to two weeks. Use a clean compress for each eye and between applications to limit the spread to the other eye. Soak a clean washcloth in either cold water (cool compress) or warm water (warm compress) and relax for 10 minutes with the cloth over your closed eyes.
  • Artificial tears. A number of different brands are available at the pharmacy without a prescription.
Other suggestions that will help treat pink eye include the following:
  • Use warm water and wet cotton balls to remove crust from eyelashes. Keep the eyes closed while scrubbing. Also, wipe from the inside corner of the eye to the outside. Wash your hands after scrubbing. You can do this every one to two hours as needed.
  • Decrease the chances of spreading pink eye. Wash your hands frequently and don't touch your eyes (see Pink Eye Prevention for more helpful tips).
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Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Information

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