There are few infections that are more bothersome and irritating than pink eye. Babies, kids, adults, and even dogs, cats, cows, goats, and guinea pigs can contract the malady. Known as conjunctivitis in medical circles, pink eye generally comes in the categories of bacterial, allergic, and viral. Home remedies for pink eye include warm compresses, homeopathic eye drops, and eye rinses, but some cases require medical solutions.
To help relieve the general discomfort that comes with a case of pink eye, a patient should apply warm compresses to the bloodshot, swollen, mucous-secreting eye a number of times per day. Eye drops containing substances such as chamomile and belladonna can also be applied throughout the day. Patients may want to try placing teabags over the eyes and using a boric acid or saltwater eyewash. Some people have been know to wash out the afflicted eye with warm water that has been infused with a few drops of honey.
None of these home remedies for pink eye have been proven successful in clinical tests. They are neither recommended nor suggested, and belong more to the “old wives tale” category of possible cures. The only certain way to care for a case of pink eye is for the sufferer to visit a medical professional and follow his or her advice. Although pink eye normally doesn’t cause any lasting or permanent damage to vision, it still needs to be treated.
For a case of bacterial pink eye, a medical professional will usually prescribe antibiotic eye drops, which should completely eliminate the problem after just a few days of use. Viral pink eye, as is true with all viruses, does not respond to antibiotics, and it simply has to run its course. In this case, some of the home remedies might be tried, but it's best for the patient to talk to the medical professional first to make sure that the treatment is safe. If a person has pink eye caused by an allergy, drops that contain antihistamines, steroids, or some sort of anti-inflammatory medication will usually solve the problem.
The best home remedies for pink eye involve making sure that no one else in the family catches it. This is a highly contagious infection, and so there should be no sharing of towels or pillowcases. Everyone in the home should wash his or her hands multiple times a day with hot, soapy water, and avoid touching his or her eyes.