You may like to keep a pin by the side of your bed if you repeatedly get conjunctivitis, as it is a little annoying, to say the least, when you wake up unable to open your eyes, and the thought that you are dead may creep into your mind…

“Tests of death (1) Push pin into flesh, if dead the hole will remain, if alive it will close up.”
Road Book of Boston, 1893

Of course, if you share a bed with someone, you can simply ask your partner whether you’re dead or not!

I feel I am building up an extensive catalogue of aliments that I have endured on here, but I have lived many decades, so overall it balances out surely? I only had extremely gummed up eyes once, literally not being able to open one until I had bathed it in warm water. Such an odd feeling when your brain is telling your body to do a thing and your body won’t respond.

Of course my many and varied children all had conjunctivitis at one time or another. I knew THEY were still alive, so the pin trick was not called for.

Aside from the unattractiveness of it in an adult – I suspect we are all reluctant to go out with green gooey stuff stuck to our eyelids – it is itchy and irritating. This of course makes us want to touch and rub, which in turn leads to the infection being spread about, distributed, and inadvertently passed on to others.

So rule number one is when treating eyes, always use a separate cotton wool pad or eye wash container for each eye, and for every person in the household who has conjunctivitis.

Allergy or Infection?

As conjunctivitis is used as a blanket term in which to wrap the various signals (IE itching and stickiness), it may just be a simple case of eye irritation. Once or twice it occurred in my children after they had slept with an open window, but it can also manifest as the result of a viral or bacterial infection.

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis gets its name from the conjunctiva – “the transparent membrane in the eye that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball”

Dr. Josh Axe explains, “Pink eye can also be caused by an allergy or irritation in the eye, and it’s encountered in up to 40 percent of the population. Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes, as opposed to viral or bacterial pink eye that can affect only one or both eyes.

Allergic pink eye is the eye’s response to an allergy-causing substance, such as pollen, animal hair or house dust mites. Allergic pink eye symptoms also include signs of a respiratory condition, like sneezing and a runny nose.

Conjunctivitis resulting from eye irritation is not an infection, and it usually clears up within a day or two.”

The single most effective conjunctivitis natural remedy that worked for me was the herb Eyebright, or to give it its correct Latin name, Euphrasia. This has been used since the 14th century as a cure for all eye maladies.

“This plant has a long history of use for eye problems, hence the name of Eyebright. When used appropriately, eyebright will reduce inflammation in the eye caused by blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelash follicles) and conjunctivitis (inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids). It can be used as an eyewash, as eye drops, or plant infusions taken internally for ophthalmic use.”
Herb Wisdom

For those of you who like studies to back up natural remedies:

“In a study published in a 2007 edition of ‘The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine’, researchers found that when treated with Euphrasia eye drops one to five times daily, 81.5 percent of patients with conjunctivitis displayed complete recovery.”

How to Use Eyebright

You can obtain this herb from herbalists as eye drops, but why not make your own drops using the dried herb? Herb Wisdom recommends the following method:

“Traditionally, an adult dosage of eyebright is two to four grams of the herb, dried, up to three times a day. This can be in tea form with 5 ounces of boiling water. For eye drops, one to five times a day of a single drop appears to be the norm. These eye drops, when used for pinkeye, can be taken for three to seventeen days.”

You can simply bathe the infected eye or eyes, if the idea of eye drops does not appeal to you, this most probably being the case with all children! Repeat at hourly intervals if possible. I find with most conditions, that regularly applying whatever remedy is needed speeds recovery. It may sound obvious, but it is surprising how easy it is to forget in the rush of the day.

Mine and my children’s conjunctivitis may well have been allergic rather than bacterial or viral. Should you be diagnosed with either of the latter and feel that eyebright alone will not work sufficiently well or fast enough, reach for colloidal silver. This is anti viral, anti bacterial and anti biotic. Otherwise, eyebright works very well.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them below.

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