The 6 Best Home Remedies for Pink Eye

Home Remedies for Pink Eye

Did your eye turn red and itchy overnight? Is this accompanied by a stubborn yellowish or greenish discharge that makes it almost impossible for you to open your eyes after a good night’s sleep? Then, you could have contracted the much-dreaded pink eye. The good news is – this condition can clear up rather quickly with proper treatment and preventive care. A few natural remedies can also help in treating conjunctivitis. Read on to know more about pink eye and its treatment options.

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye is a condition that causes the conjunctiva to become inflamed. Conjunctiva is a thin transparent layer that covers the white part of your eyes along with the insides of your eyelids. This condition is also referred to as conjunctivitis.

Children are very likely to contract this disease as it is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. The most commonly affected age group is 3-13 years. However, this condition is rarely of much concern and mostly does not damage one’s vision.

Types of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye can be classified into five types depending on its cause.

1. Viral Conjunctivitis: It is caused by a viral infection and is the most contagious type. It starts in one eye, but within a few days, the other eye may also get infected.

2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis: It is caused by a bacterial infection and usually affects one eye. However, there are high chances that the other eye may get infected as well.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis: It is triggered by an allergy and can cause tearing, itchiness, and redness in both eyes.

4. Ophthalmia Neonatorum: It is a severe form of pink eye that affects newborns. It is transmitted from mothers who are infected by Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis to the children during childbirth.

5. Giant Papillary: Long-term use of contact lenses (or an artificial eye) triggers this type of pink eye.

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Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

The signs and symptoms exhibited by those affected by pink eye usually depend on the cause. Listed below are some of the most common symptoms.

  • Redness and inflammation in the white part of the eye as well as the inner part of the eyelid.
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva.
  • Tearing of the affected eye
  • A yellow discharge that is thick and tends to crust over your eyelashes, especially just after sleep.
  • Greenish or whitish discharge from the affected eye.
  • Itchiness in the eyes
  • A burning sensation in the affected eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in front of your ear or right below your jaw bone
  • Fever, if the infection is viral

Causes of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

As we have already discussed, pink eyes can be triggered by an array of factors and infections. The following are some of the most common factors that are linked to the onset of conjunctivitis or pink eye.

  • Viruses (including the strain that causes the common cold)
  • Bacteria
  • Irritants like dirt, smoke, chlorinated pool, and certain shampoos and cosmetics
  • An allergic reaction to eye drops
  • An allergic reaction to triggers like pollen, smoke, or dust
  • Contact lens allergy
  • Fungi, amoeba, and parasites
  • Close contact with those who are infected with viral or bacterial conjunctivitis
  • Prolonged use of contact lenses

Best Home Remedies for Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Home Remedies for Pink Eye

However, a few natural remedies can work wonders in speeding up the treatment of conjunctivitis and alleviating its symptoms.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera possesses soothing anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts. It can thus assist in treating ophthalmologic conditions like conjunctivitis.

You’ll Need:

Fresh aloe vera gel (as required)


  • Apply aloe vera gel all around your upper and lower eyelids.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with water.
  • You can do this 1-2 times daily.

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Green Tea Bag

Green tea contains flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and swelling. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory nature of green tea may be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of ophthalmologic conditions like pink eyes.

You’ll Need:

Used green tea bags


  • Take a couple of used green tea bags and refrigerate them.
  • Apply the cold green tea bags over your closed eyes.
  • Remove them after 15-20 minutes.
  • You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Breast Milk

Breast milk is believed to possess antibiotic properties and been used topically for ages to treat various health conditions of newborns, such as conjunctivitis and epiphora.

You’ll Need:

A few drops of breast milk


  • Put a few drops of breast milk into the affected eye of your infant.
  • Leave it in and allow your baby to blink it away.
  • You may do this 1 to 2 times daily.


Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps to suppress the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis with its anti-allergic -activity.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • A clean washcloth


  • Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm water and mix well.
  • Soak a clean washcloth in the mixture.
  • Wring out the excess water and place the warm compress on the affected eye.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and remove.
  • You can do this 1-2 times daily for optimum benefits.


Honey exhibits antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities that can help in healing conjunctivitis and its symptoms.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon of distilled water


  • Take a teaspoon of organic honey and mix it with a tablespoon of distilled water.
  • Put a drop of this mixture into the affected eye(s).
  • You can do this twice daily for best results.

Warm or Cold Compress

The topical application of both warm and cold compresses reduces the inflammation and cleanses the infected eye.

You’ll Need:

  • A warm or cold compress


  • Apply a warm or cold compress to the infected eye.
  • Place it there for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the compress.
  • You may do this 2-3 times daily.

It is very important that you complete your course of medical treatment for conjunctivitis and use these remedies to assist the ongoing treatments. It is also important that you take precautions to prevent the infection from spreading any further. Early treatment is key to battling conjunctivitis at the earliest and avoid complications. This is especially in the case of children suffering from this infectious condition.

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