What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, that is also known as pink eye. The inflammation or swelling from it can affect one or both eyes causing them to go bloodshot red. Some forms of conjunctivitis are high contagious and easily spread from person to person.
Common symptoms of conjunctivitis
- Redness of the eye
- Green or white pus discharge from the eye
- Irritated eyes
- Blurred vision
- Swollen eyes (similar to a sty)
Different types of conjunctivitis
There are four main forms of conjunctivitis these are bacterial, viral, allergy, and injury based.
1. Bacterial conjunctivitis
This is the most common type of conjunctivitis; it is caused by bacteria that infect the eye and can easily spread from one infected individual to another. It spreads through contaminated surfaces and can even stem from a different type of respiratory infection such as a sinus or ear infection. To treat this type of of conjunctivitis, you could use the eye drops, however, you may need a course of antibiotics from your doctor.
2. Viral conjunctivitis
This is a highly contagious infection that is caused by adenovirus, having this could cause your eyes to be sensitive to light. As it is not caused by bacteria, eye drops wont work. Although this type usually goes away on its own within a week without medical treatment, the best solution is to just take painkillers and do regular cold compresses.
3. Allergy conjunctivitis
If you suffer from hay fever, you may be a regular sufferer. Pollen or dust may cause pink eye in one or both eyes which cause your body to start producing histamines. These may cause inflammation. Antihistamine eye drops should relieve your symptoms.
4. Injury based conjunctivitis
If you manage to somehow injure your eye, it could trigger conjunctivitis. Forms of injury could be from a simple scratch, to something going into the eye itself such as a hair, dust or pretty much anything that can cause irritation.
What are some herbal remedies for conjunctivitis?
Before I mention some of the herbal remedies, I just want to clear some things up. Every time I get ill, I always look to the herbal remedy as a first resort. In this case, with the internet as my main resource, it was a disaster. Why? Well, one article advised a honey and water solution for the eyes, and whilst this seemed like a good idea because of honeys natural antibacterial properties, this actually made my eyes sting a lot.
After doing it, my eyes were very watery and it caused tears to stream down my face. One or two may have entered my mouth and I developed tonsillitis. That is the last thing that you want. I suffered for an extra week because of the ‘honey and water solution.’ Something else I tried was cucumber slices and a warm teabag. I did this in the hopes to reduce the current swelling that I was suffering with in one eye.
Did it help? Maybe a little. That was until it spread the infection to my other eye. When I would wake up in the morning, my eyes would be sealed shut from the leaking puss and to clean it I used a simple salt water solution which worked well for cleaning my eyes. After trying these herbal remedies above, I went on the search to find a real solution.
What are some medicinal treatments for conjunctivitis?
I contacted the doctors and typically as I anticipated, they had no appointments left. I had to actually settle for sending the duty doctor a photo of my infected eyes, and to later on receive a phone call advising a solution. When the duty doctor phoned, I just knew he hadn’t even looked at the photos I had sent him because his advice was very generic, asking me to go to a pharmacy and to get the pharmacist to take a look and to recommend something.
I did just that and ended up buying some ‘Optrex eye drops’ and whilst they did reduce the redness and gunk. The eye drops themselves caused me so much pain and made me feel almost blind. This is likely because they contain boric acid (a known dangerous chemical for humans that is found commonly in insecticides to kill insects).
After a few days of that, I stopped using it as the pain was too bad and within one day the conjunctivitis returned so much worse than before. I eventually got a doctor’s appointment for my bacterial conjunctivitis and tonsillitis and the first thing my doctor said was “yeah those eye drops don’t work, I don’t know why they even sell them” and then he prescribed me 10 days of antibiotics, which worked!