Conjunctivitis is characterised by several diverse symptoms, including irritation, pain, itching or stinging eyes. There can even be pus around the eyes. Often benign, it can be very irritating, because anything that affects your eyes tends to have an impact on how you feel all day. As well as seeking medical advice and treatment, try out these tips and remedies that will provide relief and promote healing.
Recommendations to promote healing and prevent spreading
- Avoid wearing makeup until symptoms disappear. As well as adding to the irritation, the eye makeup you are using could be contaminated. If you continue to use eye makeup, throw it out once your eyes have healed, to avoid re-contamination.
- Wash your hands after every time you bring them in contact with your eyes.
- If you have to touch your eyes, use a tissue that you throw out afterwards, and wash your hands.
- Don’t use contacts until the conjunctivitis has fully healed. Sterilise them well before use.
- Change your facecloth, towels and pillow case daily to avoid reinfection or contamination. Note that other people could catch it if they share these items with you!
A few home remedies
1) Hot or cold compresses
Wet a face cloth with hot water and use it to remove any pus or crustiness around the eyes, and don’t let the secretions dry out in your eyelashes. A cold or iced compress will help fight itching and reduce swelling. A hot or cold compress applied for 5 minutes to the affected eye (or to both) will bring some relief. Make sure to use a fresh cloth for each application!
2) Salt water to clean your eyes
You can buy an eye wash in the pharmacy or make your own, boiling 500 mls of water and adding a teaspoon of salt. Leave it on a gentle heat for a quarter of an hour and then allow it to cool down. Apply this solution with an eye dropper, which you sterilise with boiling water after each use.
3) Potato poultice
Grate a raw potato and apply it to a gauze. Apply the gauze to your eyes for a few minutes for rapid relief from your symptoms.
4) An eye bath made from goldenseal (hydraste du Canada)
Its berberine content makes this plant antiseptic. Add a teaspoon of goldenseal to boiling water and allow it to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain it and allow it to cool. Apply it to your eyes three times a day using a sterile eye dropper.