Best Home Remedies for Pink Eye in Adults

Though not a serious condition, a pink eye is not what you would love to show up at an important appointment with. We discuss the best home remedies for pink eye in adults. These include natural, homemade and over the counter treatments. When used appropriately and in the right amounts, these will help get rid of the condition fast. We also give you tips to help avoid spreading the infection to the eye that is not affected while using the remedies.

A pink eye is also known as conjunctivitis. This is the swelling and redness of the mucous membrane lining the eye surface and eyelid. In normal instances, this eye lining is usually clear. When there is an infection, exposure to the sun and wind or allergies the eye swells and becomes red. There also are viral and bacterial causes of pink eye. Although this condition is not serious and tends to go away on its own within seven to ten days, home interventions can alleviate the symptoms fast. The treatment used should be determined by the cause of the condition.

Home remedies for pink eye in adults

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Home Remedies for Pink Eye in Adults

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To hasten the healing process, you can make use of the best home remedies for pink eye in adults as discussed below. These are advantageous since they are easy to use, mild and inexpensive. They can be readily accessed from our homes and include:

Cold or Warm Compresses

The use of cold and warm compresses helps to reduce pain as well as get rid of discharge from the eyes. Compresses can be made from various products the most basic one being water. A warm compress opens up the blood vessels and allows for enough circulation ensuring that toxins are flashed out. With a cold compress, any irritation or swelling is soothed.

  1. Soak a clean wash cloth in warm or cold water depending on your preference and extent of infection.
  2. Wing it out and apply gently on the eye for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a different cloth for the other eye and repeat procedure.

Potato Poultice

Potatoes are natural astringents and work very well in curing pink eye at home. They will soothe the eyes and help get rid of any swelling there may be. When applied to the eye, it will go a long way in relieving inflammation and soreness.

  1. Get a raw potato and cut it into round slices or grate it.
  2. Wrap the pieces in a cheese cloth and place on affected eye.
  3. You could also place the slices directly on affected eye for 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat procedure for three days.
  5. You can also make a poultice from potato extract and use it directly on the eye.


Milk is also known to reduce infections. Most popular is breast milk for its immunoglobulin which helps to prevent bacteria from getting attached to the eye surface. Breast milk is very effective in treating pink eye in toddlers and babies. Use milk as an eyewash to get relief from its symptoms. You could also prepare a poultice using live cultured yoghurt and use it on the eyes. For adults, cow or goat milk will do.

Milk remedy for pink eye in adults
  1. Put the milk in a clean vessel.
  2. Using a dropper, apply two or three drops of the milk to both eyes.
  3. Repeat procedure three times a day for at least four days.


This contains natural antibiotic properties and is also a natural steroid.

  1. To a cup of boiled water, add two tablespoons of turmeric.
  2. Use this as a compress to relief the eye infection fast.

Aloe vera

Aloe is well known for its medicinal properties. It can be used as an eye wash or a compress.

  1. Extract its juice from a freshly cut stem
  2. Soak a piece of clean cloth in it.
  3. Place the damp piece on the eye that has been affected and allow it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat procedure four times within the day


Garlic cloves are known to have healing properties. They are excellent natural antibiotics for pink eye and are therefore the best home remedies for pink eye in adults that is as a result of bacterial infections.

  1. Peel a garlic clove and cut it across to allow you squeeze out the juice.
  2. Rub the clove on the upper eyelid of the affected eyelid. This may lead to a stinging sensation which will go with time.


Honey contains microbial properties and has been used for long against a wide range of illnesses. Studies have shown that antibacterial honey can be used effectively in treating ocular surface diseases. Its use in various eye conditions gives variable results but is certainly great at treating pink eye.

Most types of honey will work for this condition but raw manuka honey is known to contain a high amount of dihydroxyacetone. If you cannot get this, settle for organic honey.

  1. Get quarter a cup of warm pure water.
  2. Dissolve quarter a teaspoon of the raw honey.
  3. Add the solution into a dropper and place two drops of it in each eye.
  4. Repeat procedure as may be needed.
  5. You could also use the solution as an eye wash.

Homemade Remedies for Pink Eye in Adult People

Other than the natural treatments, there also are a few products you can make use of to make your own remedy at home. These simple DIY treatments are as effective as natural remedies and include:

Saline Solution

A salted solution has been used for long to treat pink eyes. It is an easy and effective remedy. Sea salt is especially popular for this as it will help draw out impurities and pus, soften any crusted discharge, soothe the affected and reduce swelling.

  1. Bring to a boil a cup of water
  2. Add two tablespoons of salt to warm water to make a concentrated solution.
  3. Leave the solution to cool
  4. Dip a cotton ball or clean wash cloth into the salt water solution and put it on the eyelids of the affected eye to soothe the infection.
  5. You could also use a dropper to irrigate the eyes with the solution.
  6. In case the solution is irritating, you could dilute it with distilled water.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea treatment for pink eye in adults

Chamomile tea is known to fight infections. Use it in various ways to heal pink eye.

  1. Get a tea bag and soak it in water. Hold his against the sick eye for 10 minutes. Repeat procedure three times each day.
  2. Get a teaspoon of dry chamomile flower and add it to a cup of boiling water. Leave it to steep and strain it later. Apply this as an eye wash once it has been cooled. The same can be used as a compress too.

Colloidal Silver

This is yet another great home treatment for this condition. It is an effective method that can be used through topical application or ingestion. How do you treat pink eye with this remedy? Below is how.

  1. Using a dropper, apply three drops of colloidal silver into the eye.
  2. Do the same for the other eye to ensure there is no cross infection.
  3. You can use the remedy for up to four times a day. Ensure your hands are clean when handling the eyes.
  4. You could also take it orally as may be directed by the manufacturer. Keep the levels low as too much could cause silver toxicity.


Other simple and easy to use home treatments for conjunctivitis include:

Cold Bread: Cold bread helps to reduce itching and inflammation when applied on the eyes. It can help to cure pink eye in long run. Soak bread in cold water and let it rest on the eyelid for 10 minutes before removing it.

Castor oil: Putting castor oil in the affected eye also goes a long way in curing this king of eye infection.

Marigold: Marigold also contains strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Use marigold extract as a compress to heal the infection on your eye.

Marigold is an anti-inflammatory treatment for irritated pink eye in adults.

Baking Soda: This home remedy is very soothing and is an effective cure for conjunctivitis. Add a tablespoon of baking soda into a cup and use this as an eyewash.

Home remedies are more recommended than pink eye over the counter treatments because they are milder. While making use of home remedies on how to heal pink eye, be advised to use them in the right way not to spread the infection. Always wipe the drainage from the inside (side next to the nose) to the outside. Use different clean washcloth for each eye as well to avoid infection. Also important is treating both eyes even when only one is infected. This will prevent the other one from getting infected. Where disposable towels are used they should be disposed of immediately after use. In case you wear contact lenses, remove them and use normal glasses during the time of the infection as these could aggravate the situation.

Over the Counter Remedies for Pink Eye in Adults

There are a number of over the counter remedies that can be used to treat pink eye in adults. These are mostly necessary when the conjunctivitis is accompanied by a discharge which leads to the involuntary shutting of the eye. Use of medication is best done under a doctor’s recommendation so visit one before using any medicine. Where the pink eye is as a result of allergies, you can get antihistamines such as cetirizine or loratadine to help relieve the symptoms. Your doctor could also recommend antihistamine eye drops. These will keep your eyes from allergic reactions so you can withstand pollen and dust. They are available in over the counter and prescription strength options.

Where your pink eye is viral, you may never get rid of it. You can however relieve its symptoms using over the counter pink eye adults treatment such as decongestants and eye drops. With this type, you may also have to wait a number of weeks for the condition to run its cause. In case it is caused by bacteria, antibiotics for conjunctivitis would work best.

These are mostly meant for topical application. Where home treatments for pink eye do not alleviate the symptoms, it is best to visit an optician. The infection could be resulting from other eye infections which need to be cleared so as to get rid of it. Other times when you ought to visit a doctor include where the condition is accompanied by increased light sensitivity, blurred vision, fever and pain.

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