TLDR: How to cure pink eye (zombie eye, as well call it in my family) when it strikes.
Hey, Smart Moms!
You ever have those days where…
Ah yes, you wake up and stumble into the bathroom, rubbing that left eye that’s just burning, itchy, and awful feeling. You wonder if you maybe slept on it wrong (can you sleep on an eye wrong?) or if sleepies (eye boogers) fell into your eye.
Then you see yourself in the bathroom mirror and you know you’ve been infected. You look a little closer, trying to widen the swelling eyelid and get a closer look at your red eye. But the light is hurting it too much so you hiss and back away, wondering what you’re going to do before someone shoots you in self-defense.
Worrying if the other eye will get infected.
Worrying if the pain will ever stop.
I mean come on. How do we carry on with our day normally when we have white/yellow/green discharge in our eye and it feels like it has a heartbeat of its own? Or how it feels gritty, like there’s sand up there. So you just keep rubbing, thereby putting who knows what other bacteria up in there.
It’s commonly called pink eye, but I call it zombie eye because I look infected with grossness.
Last time my daughter got it, she managed a good sense of humor and kept growling at me, pretending to bite me so that I would be infected too.
Fortunately, it’s not spread that way.
Viruses, bacteria, allergens, and irritants like chlorine or pollution can all cause pink eye. (1)
The science behind this research(2):
Viral pink eye:
-Usually clear, water drainage
-Likely to spread across both eyes
-Can’t treat with antibiotics (usually just have to let it run its course (4-7) days
Bacterial pink eye:
-Usually greenish/yellow drainage
-Treated with antibiotic eye drops
-Can spread across both eyes
Allergic pink eye:
-Caused by allergies or chemicals
-Usually clear, watery drainage
-Usually symptoms improve once removed from allergen source
-Often both eyes
Typically pink eye goes away on its own without any complications. If the pain gets really bad in your eye, however, or if you get blurred vision, really intense redness in the eyes, a weakened immune system, if it doesn’t improve, or you experience other pre-existing eye conditions that could complicate things, you should probably see a health care provider. (1)
Washing your hands is the easiest way to prevent spreading pink eye. Also, just avoid touching your eyes. I know it’s hard…but don’t.
Keep in mind when cleaning your eye, you should wipe from the inside of the eye back towards the outside. Always use a clean surface when wiping, and for each wipe. You don’t want to just rub it back in there. Properly dispose of infected wipes when done to stop spread. Wash your hands after you’re done cleaning. (4)
While a lot of the times you just have to let nature run its course, there are a few things you can do to help your zombie eyes.
Note: I’m not basing this all on scientific fact, and I have not tried these myself…yet…but really what do you have to lose by trying?
- Honey: Some studies point to honey being able to clean and clear wounds. Likewise, honey is also thought to promote healing. There is even some evidence that ancient Egyptians used honey on their own apocalyptic eye issues. (2)
All you need to do is use ¼ teaspoon raw honey, ¼ cup distilled water, and a pinch of salt (also used for healing and clearing out infections).
Dissolve all of it in warm or room temp water. Use a dropper to place 1-2 drops in your eyes every few hours. (2)
- Breast milk: (note: this can be hard to find if one is not nursing. You could always ask a neighbor). Breast milk has an antibody called immunoglobulin A, and it can prevent the bacteria from attaching in the eye by applying a small amount to the affected area, which limits bacterial growth and helps defeat the infection. (3)
- Salt water: Use salt to burn the zombie bacteria. Boil one cup water with one half teaspoon salt and let it cool. Use and eye dropper to rinse the eye with room temp wash. (2)
- Potato: Cold, raw slices of potato can reduce swelling when placed on the eye several times a day.
- Black and green teas: Teas can fight everything from tummy aches to zombies. These contain bioflavonoids that fight infection and reduce inflammation. Put moist tea bag on eyes for a few minutes three to four times a day. (5)
- Boric acid: Also called hydrogen borate—often used as an antiseptic. Mix boric acid with water to use as an eye wash to fight the zombie bacteria. (5)
- Probiotics: These friendly bacteria help fight the bad bacteria. Remember, kefir is a good way to go when trying to replenish the good stuff.
All right, well that should get us off to a good start in our personal zombie battles and when they affect our children.
I’ll be trying these out on myself before my kiddo though. I’m not sure how to convince her to work with medicinal eye drops on a normal day anyways.