Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye” means inflammation of the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by allergy, irritation from pollutants, windburn, or exposure to too much sun. It often troubles children, but adults can also be afflicted and it is very contagious, but is rarely serious. If subterraneous layers of the eye are affected, there is concern for deeper pathology, but this is an uncommon occurrence. If viral in nature, no antibiotics will affect it and it will secrete clear and watery tears, while discharges that are colored thick, yellow or greenish are bacterial. Homeopathic remedies can help to reduce inflammation and ease discomfort in conjunctivitis. Even without treatment, most of these infections resolve within 10 days or so.
All the homeopathic remedies given below are to be used only at the early stages of conjunctivitis; they will help minimize the inflammation and ease the pain and discomfort felt. Consult a medical professional if a significant improvement is not observed in the course of a week or after the treatment has been followed for a considerable length of time.
Apis mellifica: Puffy, pink, watery swelling that feels better from cold applications is a strong indication for this remedy. Stinging, burning pain may be experienced, and the eyelids may stick together. A person who needs this remedy often feels irritable, disliking interference.
Argentum nitricum: Swelling with yellowish or pus-like discharge, and redness and inflammation of the whites and inner corners of the eyes, suggest the use of this remedy. The person’s eyes may be tired and achy, worse from light and warmth, and better from cool water, cold compresses and fresh air. People who need this remedy often have a strong desire for both salt and sweets.
Belladonna: The first homeopathic remedy to consider. The need for this remedy is determined by the intense redness of the eyes, including bloodshot appearance to the whites. There may be pain that is throbbing in nature or the eye may be experienced as hot. External environments affect the comfort, such as too many lights and even loud noises. The conjunctivitis might also be accompanied by a fever or it may not. Use Belladonna when the eye infection comes on quickly and use it as soon as possible.
Euphrasia: Most valuable when there is a large quantity of clear flow of watery tears that burn the eye and surrounding skin. This may, in time, develop to a greenish or white discharge and there can be a sensation as though a foreign object, such as sand, is embedded in the eye. If purchased in alcohol as a tincture, it needs to be diluted 1:25. That is, one drop of tincture to 24 drops of warm water. This mixture is then dropped by an eye dropper directly into the eye. If this is not possible, a clean cloth dipped in the solution can be gently placed and squeezed into it.
Hepar sulphur: When the eyes feel sore or bruised, with inflammation and burning pain, or a feeling as if the eyes are being pulled back into the head, this remedy may be indicated. Yellow discharge can stick the eyelids shut, especially in the morning. Warm compresses and warmth in general, often ease discomfort. Extreme sensitivity to cold, as well as to light and noise, is often seen. The person may be very irritable and touchy.
Mercurius solubilis: People needing this remedy often feel ill and tired, with erratic body temperature and sensitivity both to heat and cold. Discharge is greenish-yellow and can irritate the lids and margins of the eyes. A person who needs this remedy often has swollen glands, offensive breath, and excessive salivation. There are also eruptions around the eyes and on the lids of someone who needs this remedy.
Natrum muriaticum: Swollen lids with burning tears and a feeling that the eyes are bruised suggest a need for this remedy. Mucus or pus forms and can make the eyelids stick together. People who need this remedy often feel sad and tired, acting irritable if someone shows them sympathy.
Pulsatilla: For pink eye that has a great deal of thick, yellow, itchy discharge (often accompanying a cold or the measles). There is often a thick yellow to greenish discharge that doesn't excoriate the skin. The person needing this remedy is extra clingy and may be made worse in a warm room and more comfortable in cool breezes. Cool water applied to the eyes is often soothing and they will crave this. Often this person has little to no thirst. The person is emotional and sensitive, feeling worse from warmth and in stuffy rooms and relieved by cool fresh air.
Sulphur: This remedy may be helpful if the eyes are very red and irritated, with burning, smarting, sticking pains and a nagging itch. The whites of the eyes look red and bloodshot, and the tears feel hot. Symptoms are worse from heat, and light will hurt the eyes. The eyelids may look contracted, especially in the morning.