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Viral Pink Eye Remedy Tips: From Natural to OTC Solutions

Gina Walters



Pink eye, also known as Conjunctivitis, is a prevalent eye infection caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergies.

Viral pink eye is the most common and contagious type of Conjunctivitis, which develops from viruses such as adenovirus. 

This condition causes an inflammation of the membrane lining the inner eyelid, leading to symptoms like swelling, itchiness, and redness. 

Viral pink eye is typically mild and self-limiting, resolving on its own in a week or two. However, it can be bothersome, leading many to search for a viral pink eye remedy. 

This article delves into the common remedies for viral pink eye, including at-home treatments and medical solutions.

Home remedies for viral pink eye

Viral pink eye can usually be managed at home with supportive care. There is no known cure for the virus, and it usually heals on its own within a week or two. 

However, home remedies can help manage the symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading. 

Some common remedies for viral pink eye include warm compresses, tea bags, saline solutions, and aloe vera gel.

Explore the various treatment options for Pink Eye with our article: All About Pink Eye Treatment: From Home Remedies to Medical Solutions

Warm compress

Using a warm compress is the most common viral pink eye home remedy. It can provide relief from the discomfort caused by Viral Conjunctivitis.  

To apply, dampen a clean cloth with warm water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Place the warm compress over your closed eyelids for 5-10 minutes.  

This method can help soothe irritation, minimize inflammation, and relieve symptoms like red eyes and itching caused by pink eyes.

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Tea bags

Certain teas, like chamomile and green tea, have natural anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce viral pink eye symptoms.   

Applying cooled tea bags to the infected eye can help relieve these symptoms. 

To prepare, soak a tea bag in hot water, let it cool, and then refrigerate it for a few minutes.  

After refrigerating, gently place the tea bag on your closed eyelids and leave it there for 5-10 minutes. This method can help minimize swelling and provide a calming effect. 

Explore the use of tea bags in treating Pink Eyes with our article: Tea Bags For Pink Eye: Benefits, Types, and Application

Aloe vera gel

Aloe veraSource: pixabay
Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera is widely recognized for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help manage pink eye symptoms. 

When using it to treat Viral Conjunctivitis, it’s vital to select a high-quality aloe vera gel.   

Apply a small amount to the affected eye, but avoid direct contact with the eyeball.

Aloe vera gel effectively reduces redness, itching, and inflammation caused by viral pink eye. 

Saline solution

A saline solution is a safe and effective method of cleansing the eyes and removing any irritants or discharge caused by Viral Conjunctivitis. 

You can prepare a saline solution home using distilled water and non-iodized salt. To make a saline solution, you can follow these steps:

  • Put one cup of tap water into a saucepan and boil it with the lid on for 15 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow water to settle to room temperature
  • Pour half a teaspoon of salt into the water and stir to dissolve it
  • Carefully transfer the salt-water solution from the saucepan to a jar or container, then close the lid

Use a clean dropper or sterile cotton ball to apply the solution to your closed eyelids. Gently wipe away any discharge, avoiding contact with your eyeball.

Recommended read: Discover effective ways to overcome viral pink eye. Check out — Viral Pink Eye Treatment: Effective Strategies to Relieve Symptoms

Using unclean compresses or contaminated solutions may introduce harmful bacteria or irritants to the eyes, potentially worsening the condition.

Viral pink eye remedy over the counter

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Pharmacist selecting medicines from local pharmacy

There are no prescription medicines for viral pink eye as the virus does not respond to antibiotics designed for bacterial pink eye.

However, certain over-the-counter (OTC) treatments can help relieve symptoms. 

Artificial tears, painkillers, antihistamines, ointments, and decongestants are common eye drops and pills used to treat viral pink eye.

Let us discuss the potential viral pink eye medicines available over the counter.

Artificial tears: Lubricating eye drops can relieve dry eyes, redness, and irritation. They hydrate the eyes and can be used as often as necessary.

Pain-relieving medications: OTC pain relievers such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can relieve any discomfort or pain associated with viral pink eye.

Antihistamines: These eye drops are designed to treat allergic reactions. While allergies do not cause viral pink eye, these drops may relieve swelling and irritation in individuals.

Decongestant eye drops:  These drops can provide relief if your eyes are watery due to congestion. They can temporarily decrease redness.

Antiviral ointment: This treatment may help treat Conjunctivitis caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). One commonly prescribed antiviral ointment for this purpose is Acyclovir ointment.

Understand the difference between viral and bacterial pink eye with our article: Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Summing up

Viral pink eye can be unpleasant but is a mild and temporary condition that typically resolves on its own within a week or two. 

However, some natural and over-the-counter remedies can relieve and support your body’s natural healing processes.

Warm compresses, tea bags, salt water, and aloe vera gel can be used for viral pink eye treatment at home. 

If home remedies don’t provide relief, you may try OTC solutions such as lubricating eye drops, painkillers, allergy eye drops, and decongestants.

While over-the-counter solutions and home remedies may provide temporary relief, you should consult a healthcare professional, particularly if symptoms persist or worsen. 

They can provide an accurate diagnosis and suggest the ideal viral pink eye remedy for your particular situation.

If possible, avoid wearing contact lenses until the infection clears up to prevent further irritation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you treat viral pink eye at home?

To treat viral pink eye at home, apply warm compresses, rinse the eyes with saline solution, and consider using tea bags and aloe vera gel. Consult a medical professional for severe or persistent conditions.

Should I stay home if I have viral pink eye?

Yes, it is recommended to stay at home until your symptoms resolve and the risk of contagion is reduced to prevent the spread of the infection.

Can my kid go to school with viral pink eye?

It is recommended that children with viral pink eye remain at home until they are no longer contagious to prevent the spread of the virus. For specific guidance, consult a healthcare professional.

What are the signs that viral pink eye is getting worse?

Consult a doctor immediately if your symptoms worsen or you experience severe pain, vision changes, or increased redness.

How can I prevent the spread of viral pink eye to others in my household?

Maintain good hand hygiene, avoid sharing personal items, and routinely clean and disinfect touched surfaces to avoid spreading the infection.

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