Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye): Symptoms, Causes and Home Remedies


Conjunctivitis refers to an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent membrane covering the eye ball. It is also known as sore eyes. It spreads from person to person through direct contact. Overcrowding, dirty surroundings and unhealthy living conditions can cause epidemic of this ailment.

Conjunctivitis is a very common form of eye problem. It can occur at any time of life when infection causes this tissue to become red and sore due to inflammation. Even babies of a few days old can suffer from this condition.

Conjunctivitis are of two types Allergic and Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The symptoms of allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis are as follows :

The eye ball and underside of the eyelids become inflamed. At first, the eyes are red, dry and burning. Later, there may be watery secretion. In more serious cases, there is pus formation. When the person is sleeping this material dries up, sticking the lashes together.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis results from bacterial, or viral infection, or eye strain. Excessive reading under artificial light and excessive use of the eyes in one way or the other contributes towards the disease. Its real cause can, however, be traced to a cattarhal condition of the system resulting from general toxaemia due to dietetic errors and unhygienic condition of living. The child generally suffers from colds or other ailments indicative of a general catarrhal condition. Untreated conjunctivitis can cause inversion of the eyelid, corneal ulceration leading to perforation, and inflammation of all parts of the eyeball-the cornea is the transparent layer covering the front of the eye.

Home Remedies For the Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Use herbal remedies at the first signs of discomfort, i.e., pain, redness or watering .

  1. Boil a teaspoon of turmeric in two cups of water. Reduce it to one cup. Cool. Strain 4-5 times through a fine muslin. This extract can be used as an eye drop­ a drop in the infected eye 3-4 times a day .
  2. Boil a teaspoon of coriander seeds with a cupful of water for a while, like a herbal tea preparation. Use this to wash the eyes 3-4 times a day .
  3. Strain fresh coriander-leaf juice 3-4 times through thin muslin. A drop of the strained juice should be put in each eye.
  4. Boil a handful of acacia leaves in two cups of water. Make a decoction and use as a compress on the eyelids. It reduces swelling and pain.
  5. Take a cup of water. Dissolve 2-3 granules of alum in it. Use as an eyewash.
  6. Guava leaves, warmed and placed on a warm damp cloth, and then used as a compress, reduce the redness, pain and swelling.
  7. Filter the fresh juice of a pomegranate. Put a drop in each inflamed eye for 1-3 days. It reduces the redness and burning sensation. If juice is not available, then a decoction can be made from the pounded dry peel of the fruit.
  8. Boil, filter and wash eyes with a glass of water to which a teaspoon of turmeric has been added, 3-4 times a day. This has an antiseptic action.
  9. Slit an aloe leaf lengthwise (the leaves are thick). Place the pulpy side on the sore eye. It reduces itchiness in inflamed and sore eyes.
  10. A grated raw potato, used as a poultice, reduces swelling in inflamed eyes.
  11. Watering of the eyes: To a glassful of water, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder(made at home). Boil it for 10 mintues. Strain. Wash eyes with it.
  12. Infusions made of coriander seeds or fennel seeds can be used as cold eyes wash too.

Useful References

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