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How to prevent and cure pink eye (Conjunctivitis)

Updated on February 16, 2013
conjunctivitis (Pink eye)
conjunctivitis (Pink eye) | Source

Pink eye is a common eye infection also known as madras eye, and the medical term for this condition is called conjunctivitis. Basically the conjunctiva, is the membrane (thin transparent layer of tissue) which covers the white area of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Pink eye occurs when there’s an inflammation (swelling) in the membrane which causes the eye to become sore and red.

This type of infection may seem harmful and worrying, but in certain cases it is rarely serious and should not be alarming. Should the eyes become painful and very red, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor immediately to prevent any serious problem. Pink eye is believed to be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. In general, there are three most common types of conjunctivitis which are viral and bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis. One or both eyes may be affected, but quite often it starts from one eye and then it spreads to the other eye. The most common risk factors are when people wear contact lenses, use particular cosmetics which may contain allergic ingredients, are exposed to irritants in the air such as bacteria, pollen, smoke or get their eyes covered with chlorine in a swimming pool. The viral conjunctivitis can occur in epidemics and may be caused by the common cold virus. Bacterial conjunctivitis, the most common one, may be caused by several types of bacteria. The allergic condition of pink eye is due to hay fever or allergy of dust in some people, and this type of allergy often runs in families

The most common symptoms of pink eye

  • The white part of the eye becomes red
  • Gritty sensation in one or both eyes
  • Itching and inflammation of the eyelids
  • The eyelids become swollen
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Crusts on the eyelashes and eyelids due to dryness, especially occurs when waking up from bed and the eyelids becomes sticky.

How to treat pink eye

As there are several types of pink eye diseases, each have their own symptoms, causes and remedies. However taking certain measures can prevent or eradicate the cause of any types of pink eye diseases. But it is highly recommended to get the eyes examined from professional bodies before deciding to treat it yourself, especially if the symptoms persist. There are indeed several treatments and methods to prevent or cure pink eyes. They are described below:

  • Remove Contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, it is highly advisable to remove them and wear glasses until the symptoms have disappeared totally. This can indeed alleviate the symptoms and maybe obtain full recovery without the aid of eye drops or medication.
  • chamomile herbal tea-bags: Natural treatment such as 100% chamomile herbal tea-bags is a very good remedy. Use a moist chamomile herbal tea-bag and place it on each eye for about 5 to 10 minutes, but make sure your eyes are fully closed. This process can be repeated after every 2 or 3 hours to ensure its full effect. You can even soak the moist tea-bag onto a piece of cotton ball and hold it gently to your eyes. This herbal method can prove to be effective.

  • Eye drops: Cool compresses and artificial eye drops can be used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. A particular product available is the “Clear eyes - Cooling comfort” which is basically a redness relief eye drop and can reduce irritation. This product can indeed provide 8 hours of comfort because it cools and refreshes the eye. It has special ophthalmic eye chemicals to lubricate the eye as well as relieving the redness. Another similar one is the “Clear Eyes Redness Relief Eye Drops.” Both of these products have great advantages to treat pink eye. It is available to buy online.
  • Milk and Honey: Milk and honey is also proven to be effective. First mix the honey and milk in equal quantity, and it’s better if the milk is warm. Take a piece of cotton ball and use the mixture to apply it to the eyes. An eye cup can also be used to wash the eyes. If you have an eye drop pipette, use that as an eye drop to pour the mixture in the eye, but make sure the pipette is cleaned inside first.
  • Antibiotic eye drops : Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are necessary if the infection is caused by Bacteria. The course of this medication is usually around a week, but make sure you read the label if it’s bought from the pharmacy because it tells you the duration of the course. Improvement in pink eye reduction or cure can only be acquired if the entire course of antibiotics is completed. No antibiotic medication is required if it's a Viral conjunctivitis.
  • Lavender, rose, or chamomile oil: Lavender, rose, or chamomile oil can be used as a hot compressor. Place a few drops of oil on warm cloth and just place it on closed eyes. You can re-apply the oils when the cloth cools down. Do this process for 5 or 10 minutes for 3 to 4 times a day. This will relieve the discomfort and remove the infection from the use of a hot compress.

If symptoms persist for 10 days or more, it is highly recommended to Visit a doctor, to prescribe you the appropriate medication

Measures that can help to prevent pink eye

Prevention is always better than cure. There are many steps to prevent pink eye and the most essential one is practicing good hygiene. This stops the infection from spreading any further. Some of the measures that can help to prevent pink eye are listed below:

  • Bathe the eyes using artificial tears like comfort eye drops or anti-allergy eye drops which can be obtained from the pharmacy
  • Avoid getting into contact with chlorine or if you must go for a swim at your local swimming pool, make sure you wear good quality goggles.
  • Never touch your eyes with your hands, especially when they’re are not washed
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Avoid sharing eye cosmetics
  • Wear clean clothes daily
  • Change your pillowcase regularly
  • Avoid using the computer or video games for long periods. After 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break to give the eye a rest and get its focus back

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