Home treatments for pink eye typically include keeping the infected eye or eyes clean, using medication as prescribed, and preventing recontamination. Treating pinkeye is usually a matter of addressing uncomfortable symptoms and waiting for the infection to go away. There are slight differences in home treatments for pink eye, depending on whether the infection is caused by a virus or bacteria.
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, can be caused by allergies, a virus, or a bacterial infection. A doctor can perform an examination and let the patient know the cause of his conjunctivitis. If the pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye drops can be used by adults, though some doctors prefer to prescribe an eye ointment for children or babies. Viral pink eye typically is not treated with medication unless connected to a herpes infection, in which case an anti-viral drug might be helpful. Allergic pink eye is treated with standard allergy medications and eye drops.
Conjunctivitis is often accompanied by a thick discharge that can harden and form a crust during sleep. Many people find this discharge uncomfortable and distressing, particularly if they can't open their eyes in the morning. Home treatments for pink eye include removing this discharge regularly. Many people find that applying a warm, wet compress to the eyes in the morning is a good way to soften the encrusted discharge.
If a pinkeye sufferer experiences discharge during the daytime, she may want to use a warm, wet washcloth or clean, dry tissue to gently sweep away the discharge, starting at the inner corner of the eye and wiping outward. To prevent reintroducing bacteria into the eye, those with pink eye should use only one tissue or cloth per wipe. Is extremely important that any tissues, washcloths, or compresses that come in contact with the infected eyes or discharge be disposed of safely. Washcloths should immediately go into the laundry and be washed in hot water. Tissues should go into the garbage.
When using home treatments for pink eye, it is important to try and prevent recontamination or the spread of the condition. If the sufferer normally wears contact lenses, he should remove and disinfect both the lenses and lens case. The lenses should not be reinserted until the condition is cleared up. Bed linens, especially pillow cases, should be changed and washed daily. In addition, sufferers should not wear any eye makeup while they have symptoms, and they should throw out their old eye makeup to prevent reinfection.