5 Proven Home Remedies for Pinkeye Symptoms

May 7th 2016

Remember that pinkeye is usually extremely contagious, so it is imperative that individuals take proper precautions to prevent spreading the infection. Home remedies help soothe the symptoms of conjunctivitis, but individuals should still see a doctor, especially if symptoms do not improve within 24 hours.

Apply a Compress

Alleviate puffiness and drainage with a warm, moist cloth, or try a cool compress to reduce swelling and itching. You can apply compresses as often as needed, but make sure you use a clean cloth each time to prevent spreading the infection. Start from the corner of the eye and move toward the outer edge to remove drainage fluids safely without contaminating the other eye.

Avoid Makeup, Contacts and Other Eye Products

Remove contact lenses at the very first signs of a pinkeye infection. Thoroughly wash the lenses, securely store them, and wear glasses until you no longer have any symptoms. Eye shadow, mascara and eyeliner may escalate symptoms and cause additional irritation. Moreover, refrain from using eye creams and other products near the infected area.

Use Eye Drops

Over-the-counter eye drops can significantly reduce many pinkeye symptoms. Try a tear-like drop to relieve dry, itchy eyes or a product with an antihistamine to ease symptoms associated with allergic conjunctivitis. In some cases, saline eye drops can provide relief and may help reduce signs of infection. A homemade solution that contains 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of water may be used instead of a store-bought solution.

Increase Daily Intake of Probiotics

Probiotics have the ability to destroy bad bacteria in the body that cause infections like pinkeye. Increasing your daily consumption of probiotics may speed up recovery time and alleviate symptoms faster in cases of bacterial conjunctivitis. Probiotics are available as supplements and are found in a number of dairy products, including yogurt and buttermilk. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso and kombucha (a fermented tea), also contain probiotics.

Make an Eyewash With Honey

Renowned for its antibacterial and antibiotic properties, honey has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil to remove any impurities. As the water cools, dissolve 1/4 cup of raw honey into the liquid. Allow the solution to cool completely and place one to two drops in the infected eye as needed.


Pinkeye is a highly contagious eye infection with troublesome symptoms that can last up to three weeks, depending on the cause of the condition. Antibiotic drops or ointments are typically prescribed for a faster recovery from bacterial conjunctivitis, but viral pinkeye usually runs its course and resolves without treatment. These home remedies ease the symptoms of both types of pinkeye, as well as conjunctivitis associated with allergies.

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