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What is pink eye-conjunctivitis?
Pink eye which is commonly known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball. It is when small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed that they’re more visible and this is what makes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.
Pink eye is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction. In babies, it is caused by an incompletely opened tear duct. Before we read about some natural remedies to get rid of pink eye, let us see the types of pink eye:
Types of Pink Eye
1. Viral and Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Most cases of pink eye are usually caused by adenovirus but can also be caused by herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and various other viruses, also including the COVID-19: the virus that causes coronavirus disease.
Both viral and bacterial types of Pink eye can occur along with colds or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat. Also wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone can cause bacterial conjunctivitis.
Both types of conjunctivitis are very contagious. They spread through direct or indirect contact with the liquid that drains from the eye of someone who’s infected with it. One eye or sometimes both eyes may be affected.
Viral Pink Eye Treatment
Pink eye caused by a virus might start in one eye but may spread to the other eye too. The infection will usually go away on its own in a week or two. To treat more serious viruses like herpes simplex or varicella zoster, your doctor can give you correct medication.
Bacterial Pink eye Treatment
You will probably have more mucus or pus if bacteria cause your pink eye. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics, usually in the form of eye drops. But if it’s a mild case, it may get better on its own in a few days. If mucus is making your eyelids stick together, use a warm lint-free cloth to loosen them gently.
2. Allergic Conjunctivitis
Allergic pink eye affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing substance like pollen. Usually in response to allergens, your body produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
This antibody triggers special cells called mast cells in the mucous lining of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances, including histamines. The release of histamine can produce a number of allergy symptoms, including pink eye.
If you have allergic pink eye, you may experience intense itching, tearing and inflammation of the eyes — as well as sneezing and watery nasal discharge. Most allergic conjunctivitis can be controlled with just allergy eyedrops.
Allergic Pink Eye Treatment
Because Pink eye is caused by an allergen, the infection slowly dissipates after you limit contact with the allergen. Your doctor can give you tests to identify the allergen causing the problem. Allergic pink eye is not contagious. Once you know it is this sort of pink eye, you can go to work or school without worrying about giving it to someone else.
3. Pink Eye Resulting from Irritation
Irritation caused by a chemical splash or foreign object in your eye can also be a cause of conjunctivitis. Symptoms like watery eyes, a mucous discharge, usually clear up on their own within about a day. Sometimes just flushing and cleaning the eye to get rid of the chemical or object can cause redness and irritation.
A chemical splash into the eye can cause permanent and serious eye damage. Also, persistent symptoms could mean that you still have the foreign body in your eye — or possibly a scratch over the cornea or the covering of the eyeball (sclera). This is a serious issue and it is best to take the advice of a doctor as soon as possible.
Irrespective of what has caused your pink eye, we will discuss about simple ways on how to cure pink eye fast that will help you ease your condition significantly.
Pink eye can be extremely irritating but it rarely affects your vision. Treatments can usually help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Pink eye is very contagious and therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is essential to limit its spread.
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Pink Eye
Below mentioned, are some natural cures for pink eye in adults which can be followed to stop the spread to the other eye or to others in the family/friends/colleagues.
Use a lint-free compress: Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in cool water. Wring out the cloth and press it gently to your closed eyelids. If you have the infection in only one eye, keep the compress away from the healthy one, or the other eye could get infected too. Warm water can be used too
Do not use very hot water as it could make your pink eye worse or burn your eyelids. Use a compress for a few minutes at a time to get relief. Do this several times a day. Also make sure no one else uses the same cloth.
Use eye drops: Over-the-counter drops can help relieve the itching. Use lubricating drops or artificial tears as prescribed by your doctor. Keep your drops in the refrigerator to make them feel even better.
Flush your eyes out regularly with clean water: Keeping the eyes clean of any mucus is very important. So, wash them regularly with Luke warm, clean water.
Take zinc supplements: These supplements are the go-to supplements to treat pink eye fast. They will help you recover faster from pink eye.
Skip your contacts: If you wear contact lenses, it is advised to go without them until your pink eye clears up. You may need to replace your lenses and the lens case afterward. It is possible that bacteria or viruses may be living there, and you can get re-infected.
Stay hydrated: Hydrate yourself well to help speed your recovery. Drink plenty of water as it keeps you hydrated and will help your body fight the infection more effectively.
Get lots of sleep: Give eyes plenty of rest and try not to strain them when you have pink eye.
Few More Ways on How to Treat Pink Eye Fast
- Wash clothes and pillowcases often with detergent.
- It might help to shower or bathe before bed.
- Ask your doctor about medicines that might help. Medications like antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers can be prescribed.
- Also, anti-inflammatories such as decongestants or steroids might be advised.
Pink Eye Prevention
If you have pink eye, then steps must be taken to help keep it from spreading to everyone else. The two most important things for everyone in your household to remember are to wash hands often and not to touch eyes.
As seen above it is also important to change towels and pillowcases as often as possible, and also to wash them in hot water. Remember to never share towels or pillows with someone who has pink eye. Hope these tips on how to treat pink eye fast help you and your known ones. Please do share this article around since little awareness can take us a long way.
Author Bio: Bhargavi holds a Bachelors’s degree in the field of pharmacy. She has strong proficiency in the areas of pharmacology, hospital pharmacy, dispensing medicines and hospital pharmacy, Dietary supplements and Neutraceuticals. Her expertise in research has greatly assisted in writing medical content, healthcare blogs and articles. As a writer, she aims to provide research-based information to the readers in a more detailed way. She has been associated with MedPlus since 2016.