The 5 Best Home Remedies For Eye Infections
You can treat an eye infection with over-the-counter eye drops, especially if allergies cause it.
- Warm washcloths, cold compresses, and over-the-counter eye solutions are all examples of home treatments for eye infections.
- Contacts and cosmetics should be avoided for at least a week if you have an eye infection.
- The symptoms should go away in a day if you have an eye infection. You should see a doctor if they don’t because it could signify a more serious infection.
Inconvenient and annoying eye infections are possible. Most of the time, it can heal on its own. Depending on the type, some treatments you can do at home can help relieve symptoms.
Here are five things you can do at home to heal an eye infection:
What is an infection of the eye?
Conjunctivitis, another name for eye infection, is an inflammation of the tissue lining your eyelid and covering the white area of your eye. Some common signs are:
- One or both eyes may exhibit redness or pinkness.
- Eyelids that won’t stay apart
Bacteria, viruses, or allergens can cause eye infections. While bacterial and viral infections usually the last one to two weeks (viral infections can sometimes last up to three), allergies can cause eye infections that last as long as the allergic reaction does.
Antibiotics can only be used to treat bacterial eye infections. You may be able to ease the effects of all three at home, but there are some things you can do at home.
Put a cold compress on it.
A cold compress may momentarily soothe an itchy eye, mainly for allergic conjunctivitis, according to Danica Marrelli, OD, a clinical professor and associate dean of clinical education at the University of Houston College of Optometry.
Marrelli says to put a clean, wet washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes, but not long enough to freeze. This will make a cold compress. Then put it on top of your closed eyes. The cold may make the blood vessels smaller, the skin less red, and help with itching and irritation.
As long as it’s cold, leave the towel on your eyes for five minutes. Marrelli says you can do this three or four times a day or once an hour. Always wear brand-new clothes.
Do it with a warm washcloth.
All three types of eye infections cause eye discharge, and pus can be seen with a bacterial eye infection. Put a clean towel or cloth soaked in warm water and wrung out on your closed eyelids to help soften and clean up the discharge.
Marrelli says that a warm compress may also bring more blood to the eye, which can bring immune cells that fight infections to the area.
Like a cold compress, you can leave the washcloth on your eye for as long as it stays warm and reapply it with a clean cloth throughout the day.
Use eye drops.
In some cases, putting teardrops or fake tears in the eye can help ease the symptoms of an eye infection. When you have allergic conjunctivitis, the drops help wash away allergens and cells that cause inflammation in the eye.
Some over-the-counter eye drops, like ketotifen and olopatadine, contain antihistamines that stop the allergic reaction in the eye. How much of each eye drop to use depends on how strong the antihistamine is. So, pay close attention to the label and talk to your doctor.
You may treat your eyes with antibiotic eye drops if you have bacterial conjunctivitis. The drops can help people get better faster, but you need a prescription from a doctor to get them.
Don’t wear contacts.
According to Rasa Tamulavichus, OD, an optometrist at Big City Optical in Chicago, it is always advised to cease using contact lenses, toss away the contacts you have been wearing, and discard the solution and contacts lens box. Then, once everything has been taken care of, start over.
The bacteria or virus that caused your infection could be in your contact lens case or solution, so it’s important to get rid of both. Tamulavichus says that you shouldn’t wear your contacts until your eye has been healed for a week and is white.
If you wear contact lenses and get an eye infection, you should see your ophthalmologist because it could be a sign of irritation from your contacts or a different type of infection.
Don’t use eye makeup.
When you have bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, you should stop wearing eye makeup, just like you should stop wearing contact lenses. It’s best to wait at least two weeks before putting eye makeup on again, but you should wait longer if your eyes are still irritated, uncomfortable, or red. Once your eye improves, you should remove all your old makeup and start over.
Tamulavichus says that if you wipe some discharge off your eyelashes and put it back in the bottle while putting on mascara, you could dirty the whole thing.
When to visit a doctor
If you have signs of an eye infection and they don’t start to get better in 12 to 24 hours, you should see a doctor. Marrelli says that some signs are red flags and need to be checked out by a doctor:
- If your eye hurts sharply or dully,
- Changes in vision
- a loss of sight
- Especially sensitive to light
Marrelli says that you should see an eye doctor or optometrist if your symptoms get worse instead of better. We have tools that can tell us if what the patient thinks is wrong is wrong. Is this something else, or is it conjunctivitis?
The doctor can also give you antibiotics, stronger antihistamines, or steroids to help your body heal.