The colour pink loses all its charm when a mum sees her baby’s eyes taking that colour! Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the inflammation of the inner eyelids, because of which the blood vessels become more visible and imparts a pink colour to the eyes.
Conjunctivitis may be caused due to infection or contact with an allergen. The baby may feel itchiness in the eyes and may also have a discharge at the corner of the eyes. It can be viral, bacterial or allergic in nature.
Must Know Home Remedies for Pink Eye in Babies
Infants are at a higher risk of contracting pink eye because of their still-developing immune system. These natural remedies for pink eye in infants can be applied to provide immediate relief and cure. As the first level of treatment, there are several tried and tested home remedies that mums follow. It is important to start the treatment as soon as you see the symptoms, to avoid the spread of infection.
There are several natural remedies for conjunctivitis in babies. We have compiled a list of 11 such home remedies.
1. Breast Milk
When they say mother’s milk is the best for babies, they say it for a reason; it not only has nurturing properties but has healing properties as well. The nutrients present in the breast milk called colostrum is rich in micronutrients.
Used by most mothers, it has also gained recommendation from doctors as well. You can use breast milk for external application by following the mentioned steps –
- Apply breast milk on the eyelids of both the eyes of the baby for 2-3 times a day.
- You may express directly or express it in a cup and apply using a dropper.
- Apply the milk to both the eyes to avoid spreading the infection to the uninfected eye.
Honey is widely known for its anti-fungal, antibacterial and antibiotic properties. It is now used in modern therapy for curing a range of eye-related infections. Manuka honey is considered to be the best for eye remedies; however, any raw honey also works fine. Suggested steps to use honey are –
- For external application, take ¼ cup honey and add an equal amount of distilled lukewarm water.
- Using a clean dropper, place 1-2 drops in each eye every few hours as required.
3. Colloidal Silver
This solution is known to soothe the eyes and calm the irritation caused due to inflammation. It has been a proven solution for treating eye infections in babies. You can use it for external application as per the given instructions –
- Using a clean dropper, drop 2-3 drops inside the eyes.
- Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day or till the symptoms fade away.
- Ensure that the drops are applied to both the eyes to prevent the spreading of infection.
4. Chamomile Tea
The natural cooling properties and the calming aroma of chamomile tea help to cure pink eye and provide relief to the eyes. It can be used in the following ways:
- As a brew – Brew the flowers in boiling water and let it cool. Place it on closed eyelids at regular intervals using gauze-pad or cotton balls.
- Chamomile oil – Add a few drops of oil in distilled water. Dip cotton ball and place it on the eyes for 5-10 mins. Note that this method is not recommended for babies below the age of 1.
5. Salt Water Solution
One of the easiest, cheapest and best-known remedies for eye infection is to use saline water. It soothes the eyes as well as clears the impurities caused due to infection. Here is how you use it – Add some salt to a pot of boiling water. Once cooled, dip a cotton ball and place on the eyelids. Use a fresh cotton ball for each use.
6. Raw Potatoes Poultice
Commonly found in all households, the humble potato has a natural astringent property that reduces the soreness of the eyes and eases the pain and irritation. You may slice or grate the potato for application with the suggested steps –
- Wash the potato and cut a thin slice. Place a slice of raw potato over the affected eyes.
- You may grate the potato and place on the closed eyes and leave it for 5-10 minutes.
- Cut a fresh slice each time it is applied and repeat several times a day.
7. Eye Compresses
Eye compresses help in flushing out infections by removing the sticky discharge. Pain due to inflammation is also reduced as a result of this.
- A compress can be hot or cold. Use a store-bought compress or dip a washcloth in hot/cold water and squeeze.
- Place it on the eyes. Use a separate cloth for each eye.
8. Vitamin A
A Vitamin A rich diet like carrots and spinach protects the body, and promotes the growth of healthy cells to fight infections in the body.
9. Zinc and Vitamin C
Increase in the intake of vegetables, citrus fruits, fish, and egg in the diet of toddlers helps in building stronger immunity in children.
10. OTC Medication
There are a few OTC medicines available for pink eyes. However, it is recommended to consult the doctor before administering any OTC medication.
If the pink eyes do not heal naturally and there are symptoms such as an increase in the baby’s body temperature or excessive pain in the eyes, it may require immediate intervention by the doctor. The medicine will depend on the nature of the infection and its severity.
In general, pink eye is neither a very serious condition, nor is it fatal in nature. However, considering the delicate nature of eye tissues, especially in infants, it is important to be informed of the home remedies and act immediately in case any problem arises.