Many pick-up lines have been inspired by beautiful blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes, but we’re fairly confident that no one has ever complimented or enjoyed having pink eye! 

Jokes aside, walking around with sore and inflamed eyes can be a little irritating, so we’ve got some surefire ways to remedy this common issue faster and safer than over-the-counter pharmaceutical products.

Why Are My Eyes Sore and Unsightly?

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis as it’s medically referred to, is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white of your eyeball. When the small blood vessels in your eye become irritated or inflamed, a red or pink hue appears – causing what we now know as pink eye.

There are many ways in which we can contract this less than appealing condition including viruses, bacterial infections, use of contact lenses over an extended period of time and, in more embarrassing cases, chlamydia and parasites.

  • Viral and Bacterial forms of pink eye are extremely contagious and can be spread through direct or indirect contact with secretions of the eye from an infected person. So you might want to think twice before giving someone a butterfly kiss.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis can affect both eyes and is more often than not a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen or animal dander.
  • Traumatic conjunctivitis often occurs from a foreign object or chemical matter in the eye which can cause an allergic reaction triggering pink eye.

Keep an Eye Out For Some of These Symptoms

Although the name does give it away, one of the key symptoms to look out for is bloodshot dilatation of your eye membrane. Other symptoms include:

  • Watery, itchy eyes that can be sensitive to light. This symptom is most commonly associated with viral conjunctivitis that is highly contagious in nature and can be transmitted by coughing or sneezing. So it might be good practice to wear a face mask at all times… or at least stay at home while you’re infected.
  • A sticky yellow or greenish discharge in the corner and around the eye. Serious infections may temporarily glue your eye together when you wake up… like a bad fake eyelash application. Usually one eye is affected, however it can be transferred through infected hands, secretions of the eye, bath towels, face cloths or anything that touches the face and might be shared. This symptom is mostly consistent with that of bacterial infections.
  • Burning eyes that are often accompanied with a runny nose and flu-like symptoms are most often as a result of an allergic reaction or that of a foreign object entering the eye. This kind of infection is not contagious and is easier to cure.

4 Natural Ways to Treat Pink Eye 

Here are some natural, quick fixes you’ve probably got in your pantry that will remedy your pink, puffy eyes in no time.

1. Manuka Honey

Honey has long been used to remedy wounds and infections due to its highly concentrated antibacterial properties, and Manuka especially for it’s powerful healing properties. Its antimicrobial agents act against a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi that make clearing infections with minimal adverse effects. Simply dissolve one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of warm, pure water and a pinch of sea salt or himalayan salt, pour into a sterilized eye drop applicator or dropper bottle, and apply to the affected eye twice daily.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is another surefire way to clear up your conjunctivitis due to its extremely potent bacterial, viral and fungal killing properties. It’s important to make a diluted solution with the Apple Cider Vinegar before application. Start with 1 tsp of ACV in 1 cup of filtered water. Use a cotton ball to apply the diluted solution to your closed eye three times a day. Always use a fresh cotton ball for each application and treat both eyes even if only one is infected. 

3. Tulsi 

Also known as holy basil, Tulsi is well recognized for its healing and anti-inflammatory powers. It will also soothe the eye while fighting viral and bacterial infections in the eye. Soak tulsi leaves in boiled water for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool, then apply to the infected area with a cotton pad and use as a warm compress. Apply compression three times a day, always using a fresh cotton pad for each application and treat both eyes even if only one is infected. 

4. Salt Water Wash

Mixing up a sterile saline solution with 1 teaspoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt to every 1 cup of water that has been boiled is a good eyewash that can relieve the irritation caused by pink eye. Be sure to let the solution cool before using it to wash your eye. Apply compression three times a day, always using a fresh cotton pad for each application and treat both eyes even if only one is infected.

If you have recurring pink eye or you’re not sure which approach is best for your health, reach out to our licensed Food Matters Practitioners who are a wealth of information on many health concerns including depression, anxiety, chronic disease, weight loss, digestive issues, and more.