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Pink eye is an ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. More accurately referred to as conjunctivitis, it is simply an infection of the conjunctiva (the inner protective lining of the eyelid covering the white part of the eye). This results in a swelling or inflammation of the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva, which is responsible for the associated reddening of the eye. Given the highly contagious nature of the disease, it’s no surprise that remedies for conjunctivitis are usually in high demand.

Not Just a Single Ailment

Contrary to popular assumption, conjunctivitis refers to a group of ailments rather than a single disease and classification is usually dependent on the cause. Accordingly, the remedies are applied based on the specific cause of the infection which includes:

  • Allergens: such as pollen, smoke, dust mites, cosmetics (mascara, eye pencil), perfumes and air pollutants and chemical substances.
  • Bacteria: such as Chlamydia, Moraxella and Corynebacterium (which result in pus formation),
  • Viruses: such as Adenoviruses, Cocksackieviruses and Enteroviruses,

Symptoms:

Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of pink eye usually follow a similar pattern. The infection starts out as a mild irritation, watering and reddening of the conjunctiva. Grittiness and pain are also not uncommon especially in later stages. Some signs are also specific to the cause of infection which is important in determining the appropriate remedies. For instance, bacterial conjunctivitis causes some mucopurulent discharges, pasting of the eyelids and crust formation. While infection starts in one eye, it can easily be transmitted to the other one for all types of pink eyes.

The Use of Remedies

Treatment of conjunctivitis is usually necessary if symptoms persist for 2 days or more. Otherwise, it usually resolves without any interference. However, there are different types of treatments occasioned by the different causes of conjunctivitis. Below are some of remedies that have proven effective:

Ointments and Eye drops

These remedies are particularly suited for treating bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis. A lot of simple over-the-counter antibiotics are available for bacterial pink eye while treatment such as antihistamines, decongestants and mast cell drops are prescribed for allergic conjunctivitis.