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kimchi's avatar

How do you get rid of pink eye?

Asked by kimchi (1432points) June 2nd, 2014

I couldn’t go to school today at all, and had to stay home. Do allergy eye drops work on pink eye? Those are the only ones we have. Are there any home remedies that actually work? Any tips on how to get rid of it by tomorrow? By the way, my pink eye is the virus kind: it’s pink, watery, swollen, and is crusty.

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23 Answers

GloPro's avatar

Nope. Prescription drops. Time to visit the doctor. Pink eye is highly contagious so please don’t wait and spread it around.

Seek's avatar

See a doctor.

It could be conjunctivitis (pink eye) or you could have an injury to your eye. Both will cause those symptoms.

These are your eyes you’re talking about. You only get one pair.

jca's avatar

To not get treatment will make it take about a week to get better. IF you get treatment from the doctor, you will be able to return to school in a day or two. You won’t be 100% better, but you’ll not be contagious any more and you will be able to see a lot better than you are now.

JLeslie's avatar

Neosporin ophthalmic cream. You have to go to the doctor to get a prescription. Do not put cream in your eye not made for the eyes. If your good at putting drops in your eyes there are prescription drops. I suck at it, so I do much better with the cream.

Your symptoms are the bacterial kind. Hate to break it to you.

gasman's avatar

There used to be a saying, “Not every pink eye is pink-eye.” Don’t assume a diagnosis. See a doctor. If it’s bacterial you should be on appropriate antibiotic drops. If it’s viral they might want to use antibiotics to prevent bacterial super-infection. If it’s allergic, or toxic, or lots of other things then antibiotics might be wrong. In some cases steroid drops are indicated even though they’re often contra-indicated. An expert can sort this out.

So I’d see an ophthalmologist. If that doesn’t work then see an optometrist, or a family doctor, or (I hope not) visit an emergency room. Good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

@gasman The OP said crusty. I can diagnose it through the the world wide web. I might even catch it.

Seek's avatar

I’ve scratched my (chronically dry) eyes about a kabillion times. It causes some goopiness, which after a full night’s sleep looks exactly like crusty pinkeye. It’s not the same thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@seek I doubt the OP would be asking this question if they have a chronic problem like that. Doesn’t matter—to treat pink eye you have to go to the doc for drugs, so the OP can wait it out and hope it gets better on its own, or go to the doctor. I would go to the doctor, even though I am a doctor avoiding person. It and eye, not a little rash on her arm, I try not to play around with my eyes.

Crusty does not necessarily mean pink eye, but one eye suddenly crusted shut when you try to open your eyes in the morning is usually pink eye.

I too go through weeks of very dry eyes that are hard to open. It happens when my thyroid is off. They don’t get crusty, but I do realize there are multiple reason for hard to open eyes. One of my eyes is dryer than the other during that time, but still they both are somewhat dry. Pink eye is usually in one eye.

kimchi's avatar

@JLeslie I went to the doctor and it was viral… not bacterial… hah.

snowberry's avatar

I’ve had pink eye before, and treated it successfully with colloidal silver drops.

I’ve also used tea tree oil, but you have to be really careful with this one. I put the tiniest smidgen of tea tree oil on my clean finger tip. Then I hold it to the corner of my eye, and wait for the tears to take a little of it. You’ll know because it burns like fury, but the tears wash it out.

By the way, both tea tree oil and colloidal silver are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Just so you know.

By the way, the medication they give you burns just as bad if not worse. In my experience once or twice of the silver or the tea tree oil is enough to cure it, while the prescription is expensive and only one bottle per person and it has to be used for a week or two twice a day (ouch!). Be sure to wash your face thoroughly so you don’t re-infect yourself.

elle_silverwolf's avatar

I have successfully treated pink eye with breast milk in three of my children and myself… Breast milk is gentle, doesn’t sting, is anti-fungal/bacterial and effective according to my experience.

jca's avatar

My daughter had conjunctivitis last week and she got drops. @snowberry the prescription drops do not burn. If they did, she would have let me know (she is 7).

JLeslie's avatar

@kimchi I still have my doubts.

So, basically you can’t do anything, just wait, is that what the doctor said?

snowberry's avatar

@jca Hmm, all I know is that my prescription burned like the fires of hell, and my home remedies were free (I already had both items) and didn’t take as long to cure it…. This was 3 different infections, all confirmed by a doctor.

jca's avatar

@snowberry: I know when I had pink eye as a teen, my eyes burned so maybe you thought the burn was from the drops when it was actually from the pink eye itself. I don’t doubt you had a diagnosis confirmed by a doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

Possibly @snowberry was allergic to that drop. I can use neosporin ophthalmic oitnment with no problem, but can’t use eurithrocycin ophthalmic.

Seek's avatar

Neosporin will not help a viral infection, as it is an anti bacterial ointment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek Did the OP say she was given Neosporin?

cazzie's avatar

Pink eye has two causes, but most medical centers don’t care and don’t even test to see if it is viral or bacterial. They just give out the antibacterial stuff, so anyone ever treated for pink eye can be forgiven for thinking they had a bacterial infection when it absolutely wasn’t. If it is bacterial, the drops or cream will knock it out. If it is viral, it goes away anyway.

I’m impressed that the OP ‘s doctor knows that it is viral and not bacterial. Well done to that doctor.
I would never mess with colloidal silver or put tea tree oil in my eyes. Tea tree oil should never be applied undiluted, especially to mucus membranes.
What the Mayo clinic says about colloidal silver:

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Even if it is bacterial it usually can be faught by the body on it’s own. If it is bacterial treating it with drugs gets the child back to school faster, because it speeds up the curing process.

The doctors don’t test, so usually the way you know is if you start the antibiotic treatement and within 48 hours it improves greatly then the antibiotics are working, which means bacterial.

The bacterial infection usually has worse symptoms than the viral.

There is a good chance the doctor could be guessing wrong, but it doesn’t matter much in the long run. If it doesn’t go away after a week, then I say go for the antibiotics.

For a while doctors were waiting to give antibiotic for ear infections there was a whole movement that ear infections were over treated with antibiotics, or treated too soon. More recently studies have been done showing it is better to give the antibiotics. The medical community goes back and forth on all these things.

snowberry's avatar

@jca @JLeslie @cazzie There will come a day when home remedies will be the ONLY option available to a vast number of us. It’s not that far off either. But I don’t want to derail the thread, so let’s let it go at that.

jca's avatar

@snowberry: Since that is not the case for the OP now, I don’t see why she should go that route.

By the way, can @kimchi please update us as to how she is doing?

the Update Lady

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry I’m fine with natural remedies that work or sooth. Our medicines usually are derived from nature, whether we alter the natural product or make a synthetic copy. Tree bark lowered fevers, and that basically is how we invented Aspririn. Snake venom can paralize muscles and that basically Is Botox which is not only used for reducing wrinkles but has helped people with real medical problems.

Conjunctivitis often can clear on its own without any treatment. What this means is the natural treatment might actually be doing nothing, same with the antibiotics for a viral infection.

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