By BruceBlaus – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61131793

Pink eye is common this time of year. There are  mainly three types of pink eye, the first being viral conjunctivitis, which starts from a virus like the common cold. It usually goes away on its own after a couple of days but is highly contagious and can last as long as four weeks. The second type is bacterial conjunctivitis which starts from a bacteria and requires treatment, usually antibiotic eye drops. If left untreated it has been known, on rare occasions (3 out of 10,000 contact lens wearers), to cause ulcers in the cornea and blindness. The third form of pink eye is allergic conjunctivitis, which is brought on by eye irritants such as exposure to mold, pollen, dust, pet dander or the like. 


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JAMA says, “The cost of treating bacterial conjunctivitis alone was estimated to be $377 million to $857 million per year. Many US state health departments, irrespective of the underlying cause of conjunctivitis, require students to be treated with topical antibiotic eye drops before returning to school.”

The Community Eye Health Journal says, “Surgical intervention by cryotherapy and scraping of cobblestones is not effective. Mucous membrane graft to the upper lid tarsal conjunctiva can be useful.” Cryotherapy is a relatively new treatment that applies freezing temperatures or near freezing temperatures.

Pink eye is not actually in the eye, it’s present in the conjunctiva, a clear coating which acts like a membrane that covers the whites of the eye called the sclera as well as the inside of the eyelids. It usually lies transparent over the eye, but when pink eye is present, the blood vessels in the conjunctiva get inflamed and make the eye look pink or in more advanced cases red. 

Supporting the situation at home is easy. Many home remedies work, some work every time, others only work for mild situations. Even if  you used every home remedy to support the situation, it’s still less than a copay at the doctor’s office and if the remedy is working, it can be resolved within an hour. 

Raw milk in the eye is often used for pink eye as the beneficial microbes in the milk drown out the pathogenic microbes, resetting the balance. Breast milk is often used, if you have it on tap. The method is simple, put a few drops in the affected eye. It’s soothing and gentle. 

Manuka honey in the eye is a little more advanced, not for the faint of heart. Manuka honey is sourced from New Zealand, where honey bees pollinate the Manuka bush. Like most other raw honey, it is credited with being anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant but many people rave of its powerful medicinal properties. For pink eye, most folks just scoop a tiny bit onto their finger and smear it into the pink eyeball. It burns like crazy for about 30 seconds or more, but for some, pink eye is then gone. For other forms of pink eye it doesn’t work so well. Click here for Manuka honey, a staple in many medicine cabinets.

Coconut oil in the eye is more soothing and gentle. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. The method is the same as the Manuka honey, just scoop a tiny bit with the finger and smear it into the eye. It’s not abrasive and calms the area. Click here for appropriate coconut oil.

Colloidal silver dropped into the eye is praised by some, saying it’s simple and fast. Colloidal silver is a heavy metal which doesn’t leave the body, even with chelation, and should only be used in emergency situations. Build up of silver particulate in the body is known to turn the skin, conjunctiva and other areas of the body a blue hue. The condition known as argyria is irreversible. Click here for colloidal silver.

A warm compress over the eye is the most highly praised support for pink eye, even when all other methods fail. A warm compress for pink eye is done by putting warm water into a to go coffee cup, like this one, then pouring a little of the warm water onto a bath towel and holding it over the eye. With a clean new spot on the towel, the process is done again and again until all areas of the towel are used. This is repeated for three times each day until no signs remain. For milder cases, doing the warm compress once is all it takes. For more advanced cases a few times is needed but each time the eye is remarkably improved. 

All of these methods of support are natural and do not cause harm if pink eye is not present. 

If you have a medical condition it is best to go see your doctor, which this is not.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. becky.nourishingplot@hotmail.com

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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