Itchy, red, runny, and irritated eyes: it’s the dreaded, highly contagious pink eye! Because kids are always touching and rubbing their eyes it can be hard to tell what’s going on in there and what you should do about it. And to make things more confusing, there are several types of pink eye, most of which don’t have conventional medical treatment options. So what’s a parent to do? Let’s get down to the nitty (and gritty!!) about pink eye!
Main Types of Pink Eye
First off, it important to know that the most common type of pink eye is viral in nature. Highly contagious at onset, the risk of passing it on is diminished significantly once symptoms begin to improve (3-5 days on average). This form of pink eye’s symptoms include burning discomfort, and a watery, clear to whitish discharge. It may also come with a bonus swollen lymph node. While in most cases there is no conventional treatment that will shorten its duration, the good news is that the body knows what to do, and just needs time to beat the virus back! Typically, viral pink eye only lasts a week or so, but in some cases may persist longer. If this sounds like your kid, you may want to hold off on those antibiotic eye drops, ‘cause they won’t do any good!
Bacterial pink eye is the really gross version. You know the one: the yucky, yellowish drainage from the eye that forms a crust overnight so that when you wake up you can’t even open it? And the swelling…ah, memories. This is one of the only kinds of pink eye that can be actively treated with, you guessed it, those antibiotic eye drops. Of course, the body also knows how to fight infection, and a healthy immune system can typically handle the situation without any external assistance, in about 7-10 (long, yucky) days. If treated with antibiotics, those pesky bacteria will be sent packing in a much shorter time, allowing your little one to get back to the usual routine (about 24 hours after beginning the treatment, if symptoms have begun to improve).
The allergic form of pink eye is just an allergic reaction. The body sends histamines to the scene, and voila: puffy, red, itchy, irritated eyes. No more contagious than any other allergy, you don’t need to keep your kiddo in quarantine for this one! This form is typically less persistent than the others, and will clear up fairly quickly once the offending allergen has been removed and dealt with.
This is a severe bacterial infection that – if you hadn’t already guessed by the name – affects newborns. If your newborn has pink eye, get to the doctor right away, as it’s a much more dangerous condition for new little eyes, and an immune system that isn’t yet firing on all cylinders.
Treating Your Kid’s Pink Eye…Naturally
No matter what kind your kiddo’s got, the key to a speedy recovery is to ensure that they’re eating well, staying hydrated, and getting lots of quality sleep, while gently managing their symptoms.
A thorough skim of the internet for ‘natural pink eye remedies’ will produce all kinds of results, from the application of breastmilk (if you happen to have some on hand!) to warm or cold compresses. But the one thing that everyone seems to agree on for temporary relief of those pesky pink eye symptoms is the application of soothing and lubricating eye drops, ointments, or salves.
To bring you this article, we’ve partnered with TRP (which stands for ‘The Relief Products’), the family-owned makers of a natural pink eye relief product. We particularly like their whole line of homeopathic remedies that focus on symptom relief, without getting in the way of the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. (In fact, homeopathy is designed to stimulate the body’s natural, vital healing responses.) Safe for kids two years of age and up, their PinkEye Relief eye drops for daytime usage, and eye ointment for overnight relief, can help to keep your little one comfortable and perhaps even crust-free (ewwww!) while nature takes its course.
Of course, you should always consult a healthcare professional if the symptoms are severe, or persist longer than expected. But the real takeaway here is that most cases of pink eye will resolve themselves, and you just need to help your child through it – as comfortably as possible – so that things can get back to normal!
We believe in living life to the fullest and healthiest. That’s why we created The Relief Products, a homeopathic medicine company dedicated to a singular mission of helping as many people as possible stay healthy, naturally. As a family operated business, The Relief Products prides itself on providing affordable products made with 100% natural active ingredients that are safe & effective for the whole family.