Does your child have red or pink eyes? Are they swollen and is there a watery discharge? Take note, your child may be suffering from conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin and transparent layer of tissue lining the white part of the eyes. This is usually a result of a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction. It may also occur due to pollen, dust or smoke causing irritation in the eyes.
It is one of the most common eye infections that can affect both children and adults equally. It can occur in one or both eyes.
Some common symptoms of conjunctivitis in children are redness in the whites of the eye, redness on the lower rim of the eyelid, inflammation of the eye and a watery discharge. It can also cause mild pain in the eye in the early stage, which becomes severe with passing hours and is accompanied by soreness, itching and a burning sensation.
The condition can be alarming, due to the redness in the eyes. This infection spreads quite fast and can cause a child to miss school for several days. However, as bad as it looks, it does not cause any vision damage.
In most cases, the infection clears up within five to seven days without medical treatment. However, if the symptoms become too discomforting, medical care may be needed. Moreover, chronic conjunctivitis may lead to permanent eye damage.
In the meantime, you can use natural remedies to ease the symptoms as well as speed up healing of the infection.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for conjunctivitis (pink eye) in children.
1. Cold Compress
A cold compress is one of the best remedies for pink eye. It will ease the itching and swelling, and make your child more comfortable until the infection is gone.
- Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in cool water, and wring out the excess water. (Use 2 clothes if both eyes are infected.)
- Gently press it over your child’s closed eyelid for a few minutes.
- Do it several times a day.
2. Warm Compress
You can also use a warm compress to help relieve conjunctivitis. It is effective in reducing pain and inflammation in the eyes as well as clearing discharge temporarily.
Warm compresses are also soothing to the eyes and are particularly beneficial for bacterial or viral conjunctivitis.
- Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in lukewarm water, and wring out the excess liquid. (Use 2 clothes if both eyes are affected.)
- Press it gently over the closed eyelid of the affected eye for several minutes.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a day.
You can also use warm water to gently clean from the inner to the outer edge of the eye to remove any discharge or crusting.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of best cures for pink eye. Its antimicrobial properties help fight bacterial infections, one of the key causes of pink eye.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to ½ cup of boiled and cooled water.
- Dip a cotton ball in this solution and apply the solution to the infected eye. (Use 2 cotton balls if both eyes are infected.)
- Also, wipe the outer eye with the cotton ball.
- Do this every few hours for 2 to 3 days.
Note: The solution may sting a bit but only temporarily.
4. Breast Milk
Breast milk is known to be the most perfect food for newborns and can also help fight an eye infection.
It contains many antibodies, particularly immunoglobulin E that combats and cures conjunctivitis resulting from an allergic reaction.
- Put a few drops of breast milk in the affected eye, using a sterilized dropper.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until the infection is cured.
5. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is another popular and very effective remedy for eye infections, including pink eye. It helps fight bacterial as well viral infections.
- Put 2 drops of colloidal silver in your infected eye and blink a little so it gets to the eyelash roots.
- Use it 2 times daily for up to 2 days.
Note: Do not put colloidal silver in your eyes for more than 2 days.
6. Black Tea
Black tea is another excellent remedy for pink eye. The tannins in black tea help reduce itching and inflammation. Also, it can combat viral and bacterial infections, thus speeding up the healing process.
- Steep a black tea bag in lukewarm water. (Use 2 tea bags if both eyes are infected.)
- Set it aside until it cools.
- Place it over the infected eye for about 15 minutes.
- Repeat at hourly intervals to fight inflammation.
Alternatively, for older children, you can help them wash their eyes with a weak solution of black tea.