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Allergic and Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Alternative names :: Inflammation - conjunctiva; Pink eye

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva - the membrane that lines the eyelid and wraps around to cover most of the white of the eye. The eyes may appear swollen and bloodshot; they are often itchy and irritated. Because the infected membrane is often filled with pus, the eyelids are apt to stick together after being closed for an extended period.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

  • Tearing of the eye
  • Redness of the eyelid itself
  • Crusts that form on the eyelid overnight
  • Increased tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Causes of Conjunctivitis

Factors that can contribute to conjunctivitis include bacterial infection, virus, injury to the eye, allergies, and exposure to substances that are irritating to the eye, such as fumes, smoke, contact lens solutions, chlorine from swimming pools, chemicals, makeup, or any other foreign substance that enters the eye. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious if it is caused by a viral infection.

Home remedies & herbs for conjunctivitis treatment

  • Calendula, chamomile, fennel, and/ or eyebright herbal teas can be used to make hot compresses. Eyebright can also be taken orally in capsule or tea form. It is good for any eye irritation or inflammation. The tea can also be used to rinse the eyes.
  • Goldenseal, used as an alternative or in addition to eye­bright, is very useful if conjunctivitis is caused by infection. Caution: Do not take goldenseal internally on a daily basis for more than one week at a time. Do not use it during pregnancy.
  • Guava leaves, warmed and placed on a warm damp cloth, and then used as a compress, reduce the redness, pain and swelling.
  • Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables­especially collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens; legumes; yellow vegetables; flavonoid­rich berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and cherries; and foods rich in vitamins E and C, such as raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Apply hot compresses several times a day. Many of the microorganisms that cause conjunctivitis cannot tolerate heat. For greater benefit, use one of the herbal teas recommended above to make the compresses.
  • Watering of the eyes: To a glassful of water, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder(made at home). Boil it for 10 minutes. Strain. Wash eyes with it.
Nutrients Treatment
Suggested dosage

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids

2,000-6,000 mg daily, in divided doses.

Protects the eye from further inflammation. Enhances healing
Zinc 50 mg. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements Enhances immune response. Use zinc gluconate lozenges or OptiZinc for best absorption.

Prevention tips

  • If your eyelids are swollen, try peeling and grating a fresh potato, wrapping it with gauze, and placing it over your eyes. This acts as an astringent and has a healing effect.
  • Pinkeye associated with hay fever can be treated with prescription drops containing steroids.
  • Replace eye cosmetics regularly.
  • Keep hands away from the eye.
  • Handle and clean contact lenses properly.

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