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5 Must Try Pink Eye Home Remedies

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When you or your child gets pink eye, the natural reaction would be to rush to the doctor. However, it is not always required to see a doctor for pink eye.

In most cases, pink eye is usually mild and clears up on its own within 1 to 2 weeks. But while you wait for it to clear up, you can try some pink eye home remedies.

These remedies can help the eye heal faster while easing the symptoms of pink eye.

However, a person may need medical treatment when the pink eye does not clear, or the symptoms worsen.

This article will discuss some must-try pink eye home remedies. We will also discuss when a person should seek medical treatments for pink eye.

Pink Eye Home Remedies

Usually, the pink eye gets better when the cause is no longer applicable. This means the pink eye will clear up when the allergen, bacteria, or virus causing the condition is no longer present.

However, while waiting for the pink eye to clear up, certain home remedies can help ease the symptoms.

These home remedies may include cold compress, maintaining hygiene, and using eye drops. Home remedies for pink eye in adults may also include avoiding contact lenses.

Let us discuss the various pink eye home remedies in detail. 

Cold Compress

Pink eyes can cause swelling and irritation, which can be eased up with a cold compress.

For a pink eye cold compress, place a clean washcloth or hand towel in cold water and wring out the excess water. Then, place this cloth on the affected area.

If you have pink eye in only one of your eyes, keep the cloth away from the healthy eye to prevent infection.

You should note that a cold compress does not treat the infection but can relieve pink eye symptoms.

Eye Drops

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Use eyedrop

Lubricating eye drops such as artificial tears can relieve symptoms of pink eye, such as irritation and burning.

Artificial tears are especially effective in the case of allergic pink eye as they help clean the eye and remove allergens.

Want to learn more about the eye drops for pink eye? To gain information, read Where to Buy Prescription Eye Drops for Pink Eye: A Complete Guide

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  • Maintain Hygiene

    Pink eye is known to be very contagious. This means that it can spread easily through direct or indirect contact with infected eye fluids.

    Maintaining hygiene by washing hands frequently can help limit the infection from spreading to another person. 

    If you have Conjunctivitis in one eye, avoid touching your eyes so the infection does not spread to the healthy eye.

    Do you want to know how long pink eye stays contagious? For detailed knowledge, read How Long is Pink Eye Contagious: Contagious Period Explained.

    Use Damp Cloth to Clean Eyes

    People with pink eye may notice that the eye releases a thick discharge or pus. While a viral or allergic pink eye may have a watery discharge.

    It is important to clean this discharge to help the eye heal. You should use a clean, damp cloth to clean this discharge.

    If not cleaned, the discharge can dry up to form a crust at the eyelids. A warm bath may also help to clean this dry crust formed by discharge.

    Avoid Contact Lenses

    Try to avoid using contact lensesSource: FabrikaCR_from_Getty_Images
    Try to avoid using contact lenses

    If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to skip them until the pink eye clears up. Wearing contact lenses can worsen the symptoms or slow down the healing process.

    In some cases, contact lenses may be the ones that cause the infection that leads to pink eye. Ensure to use properly cleaned contact lenses to avoid such infections.

    Once your eye is healed, you may need to replace the contact lenses and case. This is because the virus or bacteria might be living there, which can cause the infection again.

    Did you know?
    COVID-19 virus can also cause pink eye accompanied by fever, cough, and respiratory issues.

    When to See a Doctor

    In most cases, the pink eye heals on its own and does not require medical treatment. 

    But sometimes, despite trying all the home remedies, pink eye symptoms can worsen or persist for a long time.

    In such cases, it is important to visit a doctor because the pink eye may indicate a more serious eye condition, or the infection may be worsening.

    You should also see a doctor if pink eye is accompanied by fever, pain, or vision changes.

    A medical professional can help you determine the cause of pink eye and if it indicates any other eye condition.

    They may suggest antibiotics if it is just a pink eye caused by a bacterial infection. While viral Conjunctivitis or pink eye can be treated with the help of antiviral medications.

    For an allergic pink eye, antihistamine medications may be helpful. They may also recommend eye drops such as Ocurest to treat allergic pink eye.

    People who are taking antihistamines (medicines that treat allergies) to treat allergic pink eye should not take the medicines alcohol.

    Summing Up

    Pink eye is one of the most common eye infections in which the infected eye appears pink. It is usually mild and clears up without treatment within 1 to 2 weeks.

    But while you wait for the eye to heal, some remedies may ease the discomfort caused by pink eye.

    Pink eye home remedies offer a hassle-free and convenient approach to help treat pink eye.

    Home remedies like a cold compress, maintaining hygiene, and avoiding contact lenses can drastically relieve pink eye symptoms.

    Eye drops like artificial tears can help lubricate the eyes and reduce the irritation and burning caused by pink eye.

    However, a person may need to see a doctor if the pink eye symptoms persist for a long time or have severe symptoms.

    The doctor may recommend Antibiotic medications for bacterial pink eye. They may prescribe eye drops like Ocurest for allergic pink eye, along with other treatments.

    You should remember that pink eye home remedies can help ease the symptoms of pink eye. However, they cannot replace medical treatments for pink eye, especially in severe cases.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I use warm compresses instead of cold ones?

    Yes, you can use warm compresses if they provide relief. Some people find warm compresses more comfortable. 

    However, do not use warm compresses excessively, as they can sometimes worsen the infection. 

    Most people find cold compresses to be more suitable as it reduces the burning sensation.

    Are all types of pink eye contagious?

    No, not all types of pink eye are contagious. Viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious, while allergic pink eye is not.

    Can I wear makeup when I have pink eye?

    Yes, but it’s best to avoid makeup while you have pink eye, as it can worsen the condition and increase your exposure to bacteria and virus.

    Can I swim with pink eye?

    No, it’s not advisable to swim with pink eye. 

    Pool water can contain bacteria and other microorganisms that can worsen the infection and potentially spread it to others.

    Can pink eye affect both eyes at the same time?

    Yes, pink eye can affect one or both eyes simultaneously. It often starts in one eye and may spread to the other if proper precautions are not taken.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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