Last Modified on Feb 20, 2015
What Is Viral Conjunctivitis?
Often considered an early childhood issue, viral conjunctivitis can actually affect an individual of any age; however, it is often caused by the entrance of bacteria into the eye by touching or rubbing the face, hence why it is common in children. Nonetheless, conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it is more commonly known, is the inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that outlines the eyelid and conceals the white part of the eyeball. Due to this inflammation and infection, the small blood vessels in the membrane become more visible, causing the white of the eyes to appear pink or reddish in color.
Pink eye has fairly common and easy to identify symptoms; however, the causes of the condition vary greatly. Common symptoms include a pink to red color in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes, a gritty or dirty feeling in the eyes, discharge or “gunk” that becomes crusty overnight and may make opening the eye difficult. Pink eye may also include excessive tearing as the body’s natural response to “cleanse” the eye.
How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?
To answer the oft-asked question of how long is pink eye contagious, it is typically considered contagious as long as the eye continues to tear and produce discharge – generally 3 to 7 days. The causes of pink eye can range from a slight infection to an environmental issue. Common causes include virus, bacteria, allergies, chemical or foreign substance splashed in the eye, and a blocked tear duct, specifically in babies.
Home Remedies for Pink Eye
While conjunctivitis typically causes no permanent issue and is rarely a dire health concern, treatment is often needed to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the condition. Many natural options offer immediate relief and speed the healing process. Activated charcoal diluted in boiling water and strained can be used as an eye drop several times a day to clear the eyes. Likewise, apple cider vinegar swabbed on the outside of the eye removes germs and heals the eye as well. Additional options include colloidal silver, green and black tea bags used as a warm compress and seas salt diluted in water. Keep reading below for many more suggestions from Earth Clinic readers!
|Apple Cider Vinegar||28|
|Green Tea Bags||12|
|Black Tea Bag||9|
|Breast Milk for Mucous in Baby's Eye||3|
[YEA] We have used charcoal for conjunctivits (pink-eye) many times. I have used this on myself and on my children, including little ones. I mix 1 T. of activated charcoal powder in 1 cup of boiled, cooled water. Then I strain it through a coffee filter. The resulting gray water should be kept in a clean jar. 2-4x a day, (definitely right before bed) drop one drop of the gray water into each eye (even if only one eye is infected... It is highly contagious. ) Even after infection has visibly healed, continue one drop a day for a few more days once a day to make sure. Even with one drop, lots of the water will come out of the eye... That is okay as long as at least some got into the eye. I use a drinking straw to get out some water from my jar if I do not have a clean eye dropper on hand. This week my four year old woke up with his eyes crusted shut. I cleaned them gently with a warm washcloth until he could open his eyes. All day his eyes were bloodshot and he had yellowish greenish discharge. 24 hours later, there was no sign of infection! Many years ago when my children had this I would have to pay for an office visit and an antibiotic; so grateful for this cheap, safe, easy alternative.
Replied by Teresa