In need of a home remedy for pink eye? I’ve got you covered. And I’ve so been there. It was about a decade ago, and we were on our way to the Christmas Eve service to meet my inlaws for what was supposed to be a weekend of family holiday fun. Then I hear my girl, who was decked out in velvet and patent leather shoes say, “Mommy, my eye itches.”
She’d been *perfectly* fine when we left the house, but within thirty minutes, her eye was bright red and beginning to water and swell.
And it was Christmas. Eve.
We ended up heading home right after the service, and opting out of all of the festivities that year. I had no idea what to do, besides trying to keep her from touching her eyes, encouraging hand washing, and changing out her pillowcase. All important things.
But she woke up on Christmas morning looking like she’d been in a prize fight the night before. Both eyes were nearly swollen closed. My poor baby. And if you’ve had a run in with pink eye, you know it’s highly contagious. So her little brother was sporting two pink eyes by the next afternoon.
Kids are not real great at not touching their eyes when they’re itching and painful. Go figure.
I called and begged the phone nurse at the pediatrician’s office to call something in for us on Christmas day, and the kids recovered quickly once I had the prescription antimicrobial eye drops. But after that experience, I really wanted some options to keep on hand so I could start treating at the very first signs if we ever had a run in again.
At that time, I was just beginning to have an interest in natural remedies. I made a short “To Research” list of the things that I thought we’d deal with most often as a family. My goal was to search out natural options that we could try at home for simple things like coughs, headaches, etc. Pink eye was on my list.
It’s been over a decade since the Pink Eye Christmas, and I’ve had the chance to test several home remedies for pink eye, but I have a favorite that I keep on hand *all* the time just in case…
Home Remedy for Pink Eye
Colloidal silver is my tried and true home remedy for pink eye. It’s my very favorite, since it’s pretty easy to find, it has an extremely long shelf life, it’s very effective, and it doesn’t sting (usually). Many times we’ve had the start of an irritated or itchy eye during cold and flu season, and a drop or two of colloidal silver in each eye sets things right. I repeat every couple of hours if symptoms return. Often they don’t.
This coupled with my hand washing, the no-touchy-the-eyes pep talk, and a fresh pillowcase is the main home remedy for pink eye that I rely on. If I can catch the infection early enough we can usually knock it out within a day.
Please Note: Check the label. If it states, “Do not use in eyes” then avoid doing so. Sovereign Silver (affiliate link) is a highly regarded brand with a very pure product, and their website actually gives dosage recommendations for their silver. (1-2 drops every hour).
More Home Remedies for Pink Eye
Another handy remedy that’s not quite as natural, but works really well if you don’t have silver on hand is to pick up a bottle of basic sterile eye drops from the contacts section of any pharmacy. There is a preservative (often this one) that has knocked out eye infections here. I treat just like I would with eye drops from the doctors office, muliple times a day and then another day past when the eye returns to normal.
I’m not normally a big fan of sterilizer/antimicrobials for day to day use, but in this case, I’m less of a fan of letting a virus or bacteria run rampant through the eyes of my family members. The benefit of the eye drops is that it’s super easy to get your hands on any time of the day or night. And even on Christmas Eve if you need it.
If you’re more inclined for an herbal remedy for pink eye, chamomile is a classic herb that’s used for eyes. You can brew a tea, and apply a washcloth soaked in warm tea, or even use warm teabags for relief. This is a very soothing and natural home remedy option.
You can find lovely organic dried chamomile at Mountain Rose Herbs.com (affiliate link)
Many of my naturally minded friends swear by using breast milk for eye infections. So that may be also be a great and all natural option if you’re still nursing.
There are other home remedies out there, including some that I’m not comfortable trying- I’m not comfortable putting a recipe with essential oils into my eyes, or testing out things that sting or burn. Especially when I have so many good and effective home remedies right at my fingertips.
Avoiding the Morning Crusties
My final tip is a great idea that I picked up from a friend. She was experimenting with using virgin coconut oil to help an eye infection. Although it didn’t help clear the eyes, they did discover that it took care of the icky goopy crusty eyes in the morning. She recommended smoothing a very tiny amount over both eyes (with clean hands) just before you turn off the lights to go to sleep. Coconut oil can make the vision blurry if applied during the day, but it really does a great job of keeping the goop out at night.
If we come down with a severe case, I always do the virgin coconut oil at night. It makes the mornings so much more pleasant.
Please note that I’m not recommending not seeking medical treatment for eye infections. Home remedies are simply solutions that we turn to first here in my home, since I’m comfortable with the results I’ve seen. If an infections worsens or persists, please seek medical care.
So tell me, do you have a good home remedy for pink eye? Which one will you try?
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