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How to Treat Pink Eye (With Photos)

Updated on July 28, 2016
Conjunctivitis can be contagious.
Conjunctivitis can be contagious.

Conjunctivitis is better known by its more common name, "pink eye." It can be one of the most uncomfortable and unsightly ailments. Everyone from young to old experiences pink eye at one point or another.

Even though pink eye is a common eye problem, it is a major health concern and should be taken very seriously. Consulting a doctor is the wisest first treatment step.


There are several indicators that will tell you whether you have contracted pink eye:

  • Dry and itchy eye
  • Pink to red discoloration
  • Burning
  • Yellow or green mucous

At the first sign of symptoms, a person can start treatment in order speed the healing process. There are also a few home remedies that have worked for many people just like you. First, a little information about how people get pink eye in the first place.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is caused by so many different things it is even hard for a medical doctor to determine a precise cause. Pink eye is just a symptom of an inflamed conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin layer of tissue over the white part of your eyes and that also lines the inside of your eyelids.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or a serious injury to the eye. For these reasons you should consult a doctor to determine the severity of your condition.

Pink Eye Types and Causes:

  • Viral Conjunctivitis (virus)
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis (bacteria)
  • Irritants (shampoo, chlorine)
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis (allergic reaction)
  • Injury

An eye infection needs prompt attention.
An eye infection needs prompt attention. | Source

First Treatment Steps

In order to get rid of pink eye, several steps must be taken that will hasten the resolution and make the patient a lot more comfortable while walking upon on that path.

  1. Consult your doctor to confirm your diagnosis.
  2. The next step is to keep the area clean in order to help prevent further problems. The added weight of new bacteria and irritants will only slow the healing process, if not totally stop it. It is very important to get all mucous build-up out of the eye regularly.
  3. Wash the eye at least two times a day to provide a better healing environment. You won’t be able to help your eye from becoming gooey, but goo is good. It is when the goo begins to crust that it needs be removed.
  4. Depending on which feels best, a cold or warm compress just before and directly after cleaning helps keep the eye clean. This also helps to alleviate the pain. Holding a cold or warm compress also keeps the eye covered to prevent further infections.

Home Remedies

It has been said in the past that the best medicine is always handed to us by nature herself. There are so many natural treatments for conjunctivities that I could not hope to list them all in one article, but, I’ll do my best to provide you with the ones that have the best feedback.

  • It is said that a mother’s milk is a natural cure. Now, the average person doesn’t have breast milk available, but if it is possible to get it, I’d suggest trying this trick. All you need is a clean eyedropper and a small amount of mother’s milk. Simply drop a few drops into the affected eye.
  • If breast milk is unattainable, it is recommended that raw goat or cow milk be used instead. Of course, it is to be strained and cleaned first. The fresher the better.
  • If you or anyone you know suffers from frequent bouts, it is known that Vitamin A deficiencies will cause this problem. Anyone afflicted with eye redness should immediately buy fermented cod liver oil and begin taking it in order to get rid of the problem.
  • Milk and raw honey are said to have beneficial properties. It is said that heating the milk to a lukewarm temperature and mixing into it a teaspoon of honey, cooled and dropped into the eye, will help speed up the recovery process. It only takes a few drops. Anyone trying this should always use sterile methods of getting the drops into the eye.

Persistent Pink Eye

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Don't Spread Pink Eye!

Human breast milk, applied to the affected eye, can dramatically clear up a case of conjunctivitis.
Human breast milk, applied to the affected eye, can dramatically clear up a case of conjunctivitis. | Source

Remember that many forms of pink eye are contagious. You should keep your child home from school, or if the sufferer is an adult, they should not go to work while suffering from the symptoms. Don’t spread it! Eye infections are a serious medical condition and should always be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

Note: Nothing within this article should be done without first seeking a doctor’s advice as is the case with any illness or health issue. Like I have stated, conjunctivitis can be easily cured if it is handled correctly, but it can also be a symptom of something very serious. The risk to losing your eyesight over a serious problem is too large to leave it unattended by a physician. See your doctor to discover whether your pink eye is serious or not.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How to Treat Pink Eye is an informative and well explained hub. The eye looks very painful.


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