Conjunctivitis, also referred as pinkeye, is usually the inflammation of the conjunctiva. The condition can be alarming as it causes redness in the eyes and spreads quite fast. However, it does not cause any damage to the vision. Newborns are especially at higher risk of contracting pink eye and can develop more serious complications if not treated at the right time. A mother who has an STD, can pass the virus or bacteria to the baby during delivery.
Conjunctivitis can be a result of viruses and bacteria that also cause colds and other similar infections. Another cause of conjunctivitis in children can be an allergic reaction. Sometimes, it can result from an irritant substance in the environment, like chlorine, soaps, or air pollutants.
Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis in Children
If your child has conjunctivitis, it can be quite challenging to make him tolerate eye drops numerous times a day. For this reason, here are some really effective home remedies to treat conjunctivitis in children.
- Tea Bag Remedy
This is one of the most important and effective natural home remedies to treat conjunctivitis in children. Steep a black tea bag in lukewarm water. Place it over the infected eye for about half an hour. Repeating this home treatment at hourly intervals can help a lot to get relief from symptoms like inflammation. You can read your child a book, or engage her in a verbal exercise while she allows the teabags to work its magic. This is a safe remedy and can be used without any apprehensions even on a young child.
- Raw Honey Remedy
Raw honey has been considered as an effective antibiotic. It is also known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. If your child is suffering from conjunctivitis or pink eye, make sure to give your child 2-3 teaspoons of raw honey daily. This will enable the body to fight infections faster and more effectively.
- Coffee Remedy
Coffee is another helpful ingredient for conjunctivitis. In fact this remedy has been used since time immemorial to treat not just conjunctivitis but also other conditions like diabetes and alleviating muscle soreness. To apply, boil a few pinches of coffee in a small quantity of water. Allow it to cool. Use this brewed coffee to rinse the eye four times a day to get relief from conjunctivitis. Remember to dilute the concoction before making your child rinse her eyes.
- Raw Potato Remedy
Potatoes are a sure shot way of treating conjunctivitis. All you need is a few slices to ease the irritation and pain that your child is going through. Place a slice of raw potato over the affected eye and let it work its magic. Potato is a natural astringent and can cure conjunctivitis in merely three days! This remedy not only reduces inflammation but also soothes the eyes.
- Sea Salt Remedy
Sea salt has recently gained high popularity as an effective cure for conjunctivitis. Try to rinse the affected eye with a concentrated solution prepared with sea salt and warm water. Alternatively, use a cotton ball damped with warm salt water solution to relieve conjunctivitis condition.
- Turmeric Remedy
Turmeric is known for its antibiotic properties and used to treat myriad health and skin conditions. It is also a natural steroid and hence helps alleviate the pain associated with pink eye. What’s more? It is safer than most over the counter drops, and can be safely administered to a young child. Mix 2tbsp of turmeric powder to a cup of boiled water. Apply it as a compress on the infected eye.
- Warm/Cold Compress Remedy
In case of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, apply a warm compress. Take a clean cloth damped in lukewarm water. Press it gently over the infected eye to reduce swelling. Cold compress, on the other hand, will help in treating an infection caused from an allergy. Make sure to use a different cloth for each eye to ensure the infection doesn’t spread.
- Aloe To the Rescue
Aloe needs no introduction, or does it? This wonder bestowed upon us by nature can come in handy in case your child is affected with conjunctivitis. Like you already may know, aloe is gentle and has no side effects whatsoever and hence can be used to treat conjunctivitis in children. Extract fresh aloe and use it as an eye wash. Alternatively, you can also soak a clean washcloth in aloe juice and use it as a compress for relief from symptoms associated with conjunctivitis. Aloe will also help reduce the itching and inflammation that is often accompanied with the infection.
- A few Drops of Milk
It is not uncommon to find small infants afflicted with conjunctivitis. While this can break your heart, it is treatable. If you are still nursing your baby, use 2-3 drops of breast milk to treat the infection. Breast milk has Immunoglobin A that will prevent the bacteria that causes pink eye from attaching itself to the mucosal surface of the eye. This in turn limits the infection. You will be surprised that this remedy really works!
CAUTION: If your child wears contact lenses and is attacked with conjunctivitis, it is advised to stop the use of lenses till the infection abates. Even after the symptoms of conjunctivitis are gone, clean the lenses carefully before letting your child put them on. This is to make sure that the lenses and the storage case are disinfected. Clean them at least twice before your child uses them again. In case of disposable contact lenses, it is better to discard the current pair and use a new one.
These remedies are helpful only in case of conjunctivitis with mild symptoms. If you notice symptoms like extreme redness, swelling, and tenderness in the eyelids, accompanied with fever, it is better to consult a doctor at the earliest. These symptoms can be an indication that the infection has spread beyond the conjunctiva and further treatment is required.