Pinkeye is usually contagious and even just being around someone who has the infection can make you run to the mirror to check out your own eyeballs. Identified by its ability to turn the eyeball a bright pinkish color and the goopy boogers it leaves in the eye, Pinkeye is a disturbing, itchy annoyance that sends most people to the clinic to be rid of.
I hate Pinkeye. I got it from a feedlot I was working at (oddly enough, while treating Pinkeye bovine victims with Penicillin) and had no idea how contagious the infection was until I got home and had a pinky Pinkeye that definitely did the virus justice. The watering, burning, oozing, red red REDness of the ailment was enough to drive me nutty. Plus, one eye looked like it had been bulged from my head. I looked like one of those googly-eyed goldfish I used to make fun of in the pet store (Karma, anyone?). Luckily, while the infection is tenacious, it is easily tamed and depleted with natural products so you don’t have to rush to the clinic.
The sooner you treat Pinkeye, the better. If your eye is bright red and it does not look veiny, if it’s puffy and has a heartbeat, itchy or just feels hot, you and people around you likely have Pinkeye. It’s like a cold; it seems to come out of nowhere and take its victims at will. Pinkeye doesn’t mean you’re dirty, sickly, poor or not taking care of yourself, it just means you were yet another victim of this yucky debilitation. All you have to do is take action.
Breast milk is the best remedy for Pinkeye, so if you or anyone you know is breastfeeding and willing to share their bounty for a good cause, all the better. Breast milk has so many nutrients and antibodies it’s like a wonder liquid, and flushing your eyes with the warm fresh milk helps battle the infection and draw out the heat and coats the eyeball with comforting “balm”. It is the quickest way to rid yourself of Pinkeye if you’re lucky enough to have access to breast milk (and yes, I have wondered if “any” breast milk would work, and I would assume so. So borrow from your nursing dog if she’s willing).
If you don’t have any breast milk, use chamomile tea bags to relieve your pain. Chamomile tea bags (wet and warm) on the eye for 10 minutes helps draw out the heat and ease the swelling.
You can apply fresh Aloe directly to the infected eye for instant pain relief, plus the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in Aloe helps the infection fade sooner.
Encourage tearing by aggravating the eye with a drop of lemon juice (for people who don’t mind intense pain for 5 minutes) or saline solution to flush out the eye. Do not touch anything directly on the eye to decrease transference. I know someone who had a blocked tear duct so they tried lemon juice in their eye and their tear duct wanted to tear up so badly pus just started gushing out! Gross, but awesome in how lemon juice works. And yes, hurt like a bugger, so I’ve heard. But only for a bit, and they felt so much better getting that infection out. So if you need drastic relief, lemon juice anyone?
Wear sunglasses to avoid spreading the infection to others, and don’t touch your eyes with your hands while you are infected.
To keep blood flow from invading the eye making it redder and more swollen, keep a cold cloth on the eye for an hour at a time, replacing the wet towel as needed to retain that cool temperature. This lessens the blood vessels and helps the damaged and irritated eye tissue a chance to heal.
Pinkeye usually fades on its own within a few days to a week on its own. While usually contagious, some people get Pinkeye from eye allergies and are not contagious, but should still avoid direct eyeball contact to keep from reintroducing the infection to themselves. If you want instant relief from the pain, keep a cold compress to the eye to reduce swelling and wait it out. It’s gross, but with a little aide on your part, you can help this infection leave you sooner.