Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an irritation or disease of the outermost eyeball layer (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and spreads over the white part of your eyeball. Pink eyes result due to viral or bacterial infection. Other causes include – fumes, chemicals, smoke, irritants (like shampoos, smoke, dirt) and pool chlorine; dry eyes because of exposure to sun/wind, or lack of tears, and allergies (including pollen, dust, or any other type of allergy that have an effect on contact lens wearers). Some symptoms of pink eye are redness, teary and itchy eyes, blurred vision, eye pain, increased sensitivity to light, swelling of the eyelids, green or white discharge from the eye, and thick yellow discharge over the eyelashes. In spite of the fact that pink eye troubles, it seldom affects your vision. Since pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment helps minimise spreading. Try out these home remedies to get rid of pink eyes fast.
Home Remedies for Pink Eyes
Here are some useful natural remedies for pink eyes.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar cures bacterial infection in a natural way (1). In a cup of water, add 1 tablespoon of pure apple cider vinegar and mix thoroughly. Or else, mix 1 cup of tap water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar and boil it. Now, dip a cotton ball in the prepared mixture and rinse your eyelid (top and bottom) with it.
Note – You may experience a burning sensation for about 10 seconds, but it will give you relief afterwards.
2. Cold Milk
3. Rose Water
This herbal eye drop is used to cure conjunctivitis because of its anti inflammatory and anti-infective properties (3). Put two drops of rose water in the eyes daily to get rid of infection.
4. Cold Bread
Pink eye can also be cured by applying a slice of cold bread.
Yogurt strengthens immune system therefore it works as a natural cure for a number of diseases including conjunctivitis (4). Apply poultice yogurt over the infected part of the eye and get rid of it in an easy and effective way.
6. Salt Solution
Prepare salt solution by adding some amount of salt in the boiling water. Allow it to cool down. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the infected area (5, 6). Saline water treatment proves very useful to cure conjunctivitis in newborns (7).
7. Lemon Juice
Put a few drops of lemon juice on your finger and apply it on the outside white areas of the infected eye. This easy remedy removes the pus that has caused infection in the eye (8).
Note – Before using this remedy, wash your hands and pat dry with a towel.
8. Vegetable Juices
Vegetable juices, when consumed in adequate amount, can be helpful in treating the pink eye, especially the combination of parsley and carrot juice. Mix 200 ml of raw parsley with 300 ml of carrot juice, and drink it. Parsley has antimicrobial properties that cures eye infection (9).
Alternatively, if you don’t like parsley, you can also use spinach for the similar benefits.
Turmeric possess anti bacterial properties which avert pink eye infection (10). Take some boiled water and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder in it. Mix well and use this prepared solution as a hot compress over the infected eye.
10. Potato Slice
Another effective remedy to get rid of pink eye within 3 days is by using potato slices. Place raw potato slices on the affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes, before going to bed. As potato possess anti bacterial properties, it helps to get rid of eye infection.
11. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has anti microbial properties that inhibit infection causing bacteria (11). Apply 2 drops of coconut oil in the infected eye and take a nap. Make sure you sleep for a while after pouring the drops, in order to avoid itchiness in the eyes.
12. Castor Oil
Castor oil is one of the effective home remedies to overcome itchiness caused due to pink eyes as it has anti bacterial properties .
Just put a drop of it in the affected eye 3 times a day.
13. Charcoal Dust
Mix together ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of charcoal dust in a cup of water. Allow it to boil. Let the mixture cool down, and then strain. Pour 4 to 5 drops of this prepared solution into the affected eyes.
14. Breast Milk
Pour 2 to 3 drops of breast milk into the pink eye to get instant relief from the infection. Breast milk contains immune regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties which help fight pathogens and get rid of various infections (12, 13).
15. Milk and Honey
Mix milk and honey in equal quantities, and then warm them well. Use this solution as a compressor or eye drop for early recovery. Or else, you can also use this mixture as eyewash.
- Alternatively, you can use honey in either of the two ways – as eyewash or eye drop. Take 2 cups of boiling water and add 3 tablespoons of honey in it. Allow the mixture to cool down. Once it is cooled, use it as eyewash. Or else, to cure your infected eye more effectively, use it as an eye drop. Pour 1-2 drops of honey directly in your eyes.
16. Garlic Juice
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that is used to cure a number of infections including pink eye (16, 17). Simply apply a drop of garlic juice on your eyelids and repeat the process in every 30 to 60 minutes.
17. Boric Acid
The eyewash prepared by boric acid can be used to soothe the uneasiness associated with the pink eye. In ¼ cup of boiling water, add a tablespoon of boric acid. Use it as eyewash and also apply it as a compress. Repeat this remedy for at least 3 times in a week to cure your infected eye fast (18).
Compressors can bring relief from the pink eye. Generally, compressors are of two types – warm and cold. Warm compresses are used for viral and bacterial conjunctivitis while cold compresses for allergic conjunctivitis. Warm water compress works wonders to provide relief from irritated and itchy eyes (19, 20). In addition, it is also useful for eliminating crusts from the eyelids. Dip a clean piece of cloth in clean warm or cold water, squeeze well and apply it onto your infected (closed) eye gently (21, 22, 23).
If conjunctivitis is found in newborns, you can give a warm massage between the eye and nasal area. This will open blocked tear duct (24).
19. Fennel Seeds
Boil some water and add fennel seeds to it. Steep it for 5-7 minutes. Allow it to cool down and strain. Now, wash your infected eye with the prepared solution. As fennel seeds have anti inflammatory properties therefore, is eye lotion gives you relief from irritation, redness, and pain (25).
Herbal Remedies to Cure Conjunctivitis
20. Chamomile or Lavender Oil
Chamomile has anti inflammatory properties that helps cure eye inflammation (26). Lavender oil also possess anti fungal properties which assist to get rid of pink eye infection (27). Put a few drops of lavender or chamomile oil on a clean warm cloth to prepare a hot compress. Place this cloth over the infected pink eye for about 5 – 10 minutes. Repeat the same process 3-4 times a day.
21. Indian Gooseberry
Antioxidant properties of Indian gooseberry reduces eye inflammation (28 , 29). An effective remedy to get quick relief from pink eye is consuming Indian gooseberry juice. You can add 2 teaspoons of honey in 1 cup of Indian gooseberry juice. Drink it 2 times a day and your eye will be normal in a couple of days.
22. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an excellent pink eye treatment. You can use aloe vera juice as eyewash or compress. This juice is readily available in the market. Or else, prepare the eyewash by mixing half teaspoon each of boric acid and aloe vera juice in a cup of boiled (cool) water. If you are using it as a compress, dip a cotton ball in the juice and place it over the eye. The ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of aloe vera is used in eye drops for curing eye inflammation (30).
23. Calendula Flower Petals
Boil two teaspoons of calendula flower petals in one cup of water. Let the solution cool down at the room temperature. Soak a clean washcloth or dip a cotton ball in the solution when the water is little warm. Use it as a compress over the eye. Or else, use this mixture as eyewash.
It is also applied directly on the lining of the eyelid to get rid of inflammation (31).
25. Elderberry Blossom Tea
Elderberry flowers has flavenoids and rutin, which enhances immune system and help fight bacterial infections like conjunctivitis (34). Prepare tea using elderberry blossom and simply utilise it as eyewash.
How to get rid of pink eye using barberry? Well, it’s very simple. Boil some powdered barberry in a cup of water. Make use of this mixture as eyewash to cure the pink eye. Antioxidants present in Barberry helps to cure pink eye infection (35).
27. Jasmine Flowers
Jasmine possess anti bacterial properties (36). Soak some jasmine flowers in the distilled water for the whole night. Use this solution as eye drops to get rid of pink eye.
Add freshly dried coriander in the boiling water. Let the prepared solution cool down and then wash your pink eye with it. Or else, you can also use this mix as a compress to reduce pain and swelling (37).
29. Chamomile Tea Bags
Chamomile has anti inflammatory and anti microbial properties. Therefore it is used to cure pink eye (38, 39). Put black or chamomile tea bag in hot water for a few minutes. Then apply it on your infected eye for 10 minutes. Repeat the process three times a day to treat pink eye in a natural manner.
Note – Make sure that the bag is warm and not hot since the eye area is too sensitive.
The astringent, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of goldenseal help heal conjunctivitis (40, 41, 42). Mix comfrey, chamomile and goldenseal in a cup of boiled water. Let it steep for 12-15 minutes. Strain it and use as eye drops.
- Wash your hands often, particularly after returning back to home from public or crowded places (43, 44, 45).
- Cover your mouth as well as your nose with a tissue while sneezing or coughing.
- Utilize hand sanitizer or disinfectant (46).
- Cleanse the surfaces such as bathroom vanities, countertops, shared phones and faucet handles using a proper antiseptic cleaner.
- If you use contact lenses on a daily basis, strictly follow the instructions prescribed by the eye doctor for lens care and replacement (47).
- Use disposable contact lenses or utilize contact lens solutions appropriately (48).
- Avoid swimming but if swimming is your favourite hobby, make sure you wear swim goggles, in order to keep yourself protected from bacteria and other micro-organisms present in the water (49).
- Before taking a shower, remove your contact lenses to shun entrapping of bacteria between your lenses and the eyes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses (50).
- Frequently wash your eyes to clean the discharge (51).
- Throw away eye makeup accessories that you used during infection (52).
- Launder used towels and washcloths in hot soapy water (53).
- Don’t share your personal accessories such as hand towels, washcloths, or tissues with anyone (54, 55, 56).
- Never share your special effect or colour contact lenses with friends or anyone else (57, 58).
- Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes (59, ).
- Don’t share your eye makeup (61, 62).
- Keep your eyes protected from irritants like perfume and smoke (63).