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Pink Eye



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What Is Pink Eye

Pink Eye is a term used to describe Conjunctivitis, a condition referring to the discoloration of the eye.  The Conjunctiva is the clear mucous membrane on the outermost layer of the eye and the eye’s inner surface.  Conjunctivitis is the inflammation and swelling of the conjunctiva; this causes the eye to become red.  The redness of the eye comes from the conjunctiva blood vessels that dilate and are more apparent when inflamed.  When the conjunctiva is inflamed it’s typically due to irritation or infection.  Even though the condition appears to be severe, the symptoms typically last 7-10 days when treated.  Anyone can experience Conjunctivitis, but it’s more common for those who are younger and in environments where people are close to each other.  There are three types of Conjunctivitis that are classified by different causing agents.  The types include Bacterial, Viral, and Allergic Conjunctivitis.  The only type that is not contagious is Allergic Conjunctivitis.  Because Pink Eye can be contagious, it can occur in one or both eyes.  

Signs Of Pink Eye

Before the blood vessels cause the eye to become blood shot red, the more apparent sign of Conjunctivitis is typically any kind of reccurring irritation of the eye.  There are other inflammatory eye conditions and diseases that often imitate symptoms of Conjunctivitis.  It’s important to know which condition you’re addressing beforehand.  Most people experience two or more of the symptoms when it comes to Conjunctivitis.  Below are the signs and symptoms associated with Pink Eye.

  • Consistent itching of the eye
  • Burning Sensation
  • Sensitivity or Tenderness of the eye
  • Red coloration of the Sclera (the white part of the eye)
  • Excessive Discharge
  • Greenish-Yellow Discharge
  • Increased amount of Tearing
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Irritation of skin around the eye
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Gritty Feeling in the eye (when blinking or open)
  • Body Aches
  • Cold Like Symptoms
  • Blurring of eye
  • Vision Issues (in severe cases this might indicate another condition)
  • Swelling of Lymph Nodes (front of ears)

 

What Causes Pink Eye

Pathogens like bacteria and viruses are generally the cause of Conjunctivitis.  Other causes of Pink Eye can be irritants from different variables or allergies that affect the eye.  Most of the variables that cause the irritation are typically sensitive things to the eye in general such as d.  You can experience the condition from both infectious and noninfectious sources.  The infectious types of Conjunctivitis are the contagious kinds.

  • Bacteria (chlamydia bacteria, streptococcal, influenza bacteria, E. Coli)
  • Virus (influenza virus, herpes, poxvirus, HIV, etc)
  • Allergens (dust, pollen, animal dander, mold etc)
  • Chlamydia or Gonorrhea Infection (Uncommon cause, but can occur from the presence of the STD.  Both derive from bacterium)
  • Foreign Object invading the eye
  • Swimming Pool chlorine or germs
  • Eyewash Solutions
  • Excessive Smoke
  • Eye Contact with chemical splash (cleaning supplies, sprays, smog, pollutants)
  • Underlying inflammatory conditions (Eye ailments, Lupus, Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease)
  • Eye Trauma
  • Certain Cosmetics
  • Overuse or Improper use of Contact Lens

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies

 

  • The first thing to do to address Conjunctivitis is to make sure it’s contained.  Washing your hands properly and often, sterilizing the areas you’re in, and refraining from touching things and others are three great ways to prevent and contain the infection.  It’s best to avoid sharing personal items and touching or rubbing either eye.  You should use different washcloths, towels, pillow cases, and anything else that could be contaminated to avoid re-introducing pathogens back to the infected eye. 
  • It’s best to avoid touching the eye as much as possible when it’s infected.  It’s recommended to avoid the use of contact lenses, makeup, and anything else you may put on or around the eye.  When the eye is infected anything can be an irritant or make it worse.
  • Anytime you apply or perform any type of treatment for Conjunctivitis, be sure that your hands are washed first.  It’s common for Pink Eye to linger around due to the spreading of the infection. 
  • Compressing the infected eye is a great way to bring relief from Conjunctivitis.  It’s best to apply slight pressure over the eye with a clean and lint-free cloth drenched in cold or warm water.  You can do this as long as you like and repeat this throughout the course of the day.  Just be sure that you avoid touching both eyes with the same cloth.  Using cold water typically brings more relief.  We also recommend using herbal tea bags, potatoes, or cucumbers as a natural compress.  These things have natural healing properties that help fight infections, swelling, and inflammation. 
  • Flushing the infected eye is always ideal for Conjunctivitis.  It can help eliminate irritants, dilute any chemicals that may have entered the eye, and wash away discharge.  Flushing the eye with water is typical for the first stages of the infection, but you can also use saline solutions made from natural ingredients to help bring relief to the eye.  We suggest the saline solution that calls for a tablespoon of sea salt to 8-10 ounces of boiling distilled water to help it dissolve.  Other saline solutions consist of things like steeping Chamomile Tea bags in water for 5 minutes, using a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with a cup of water, adding ¼ of a teaspoon of Baking Soda into a half cup of water, or even diluting fresh Aloe Vera Juice in water.  After the hot solutions cool you should flush the eye thoroughly, repeating it on a daily basis to continue the healing process.  The ratio of the natural solutions to water is important.  Sometimes solutions can be too potent or too diluted.
  • Good Hygiene is key to remedying Conjunctivitis.  Showering with semi-hot water helps flush the eye out without the use of your hands or a washcloth.  The steaminess from hot showers can be therapeutic, often providing relief from itchiness and irritation.  The steam can also help eliminate toxins and discharge. 
  • When it comes to Allergic Conjunctivitis, it’s best to refrain from the allergens that contribute to the issue such as pollen and animal dander.  The removal of allergens like dust and mold is also ideal.  Cleaning thoroughly and using devices like Air Purifiers helps eliminate these kind of allergens.
  • Composing eye drops made from natural ingredients is another great and safe solution for Conjunctivitis.  Honey by itself has amazing anti-bacterial properties.  When it’s mixed with warm milk it helps soothe the symptoms of Conjunctivitis and eliminates the infection.  It’s best to use equal parts of the warm milk and honey together.  Pure Castor Oil also helps soothe the eye and can help alleviate swelling.  With the use of an eye-dropper, you can use both of these solutions as eye drops.  Repeatedly using the drops helps reduce the conditions of Conjunctivitis. 
  • Avoid activities that may affect the health of your eye such as sports, swimming, smoking, exposure to sun, or anything else that could cause more damage. 
  • It’s best to avoid coffee, alcohol, and processed foods that are high in sugar whenever there’s an infection in the body.  All pathogens feed off the presence of sugar.  When you experience Conjunctivitis, it’s important that you consume foods that help with healing.  It’s recommended to consume foods high in vitamins A and C.  Consuming foods high in B12 is also suggested.  
Things you should eat
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Papaya
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Spinach
  • Collards
  • Squash
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peppers
  • Mango
  • Almonds
  • Mushrooms
  • Sesame Seeds
  • All Leafy Green Vegetables
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