A couple of years ago, my oldest daughter wanted to wear contact lenses instead of eyeglasses. We told her that since eyeglasses are necessary but contact lenses are not, she would have to pay for half the cost of the contact lenses. She did have a regular babysitting job at the time, so she agreed to these terms. However, she did not follow the optometrist’s recommendations. She had a habit of touching her eyes, which of course, introduces germs into the eye. Because they were not permanent lenses but disposable lenses, she was supposed to only wear each pair for two weeks and then throw them away. She would wear each pair for a month or more. The optometrist had said that the contact lenses start deteriorating after two weeks, which means that they developed tiny tears in them, which is also bad for the eyes. Lastly, she was told never to sleep with them in her eyes, but she still occasionally did this. She pretty much did everything she was told not to do. It is no wonder, then, that she developed pink eye not once, but several times, in a six month time span.

The first two times that she developed pink eye, she was volunteering at a Christian Youth in Action summer program. She was in the training and I didn’t want her to miss any of it by taking her to the doctor for eye drops. I gave her two pink eye natural remedies—colloidal silver and a tea containing eyebright (flowering plant found all over the world), goldenseal (plant native to eastern North America), and red raspberry leaf that she drank and used as an eyewash. She would squirt some of the tea directly into her eye and also use it in a compress over her eye. She would squirt the colloidal silver in her eye, too. In a matter of hours, there was improvement. The puffiness went away and by the next day, her eye was less red so she was able to return to the summer program. She kept up with the pink eye natural remedies for several days and it cleared up completely.

When my youngest son was about three or four years old, he developed pink eye secondary to a cold. Those germs just went up his sinus cavities and into his eyes! I did not know about colloidal silver at that time and instead had to use a tincture diluted in lots of water (three drops tincture to a quarter cup water). Because the ingredients sting a little, he resisted my efforts to help him get better, so I had to hold him down. The ingredients of the tincture are: bayberry bark (small tree widely distributed over the world), eyebright, goldenseal root, red raspberry leaves, and a touch of cayenne powder (yes, you read that right). I had to use the tincture because he would not lay there with a compress over his eyes and he would not drink the tea. After a few days of washing the eyes with the diluted tincture, his eyes improved. He didn’t like me very much, though. Personally, I don’t think that medicine should be pleasant because then children will be discouraged from taking medicine when they aren’t sick. In the United States, much of the children’s medicine tastes like candy and in fact, contains one of the ingredients that they should never have when they are sick—sugar!

As with other illnesses, if you develop pink eye, you need to treat yourself the same as with any other infection. You will need to avoid all sugar and dairy. Sugar slows down your immune system by 70 percent! Dairy just causes your body to make more mucus and since your eye is full of mucus when you have pink eye, you don’t need to encourage your body to make more. It is important not to touch the eyes and, to treat both eyes at once. This infection inevitably spreads to both eyes anyway. If you are not touching the eyes except to treat them and you are washing your hands before and after touching each eye, you may be able to prevent it from spreading from one eye to the other. Be gentle with your eyes. You may wake up with one or both eyes crusted over with mucus. Use the tea that I used with my daughter, get it as warm as you can stand it, dip a clean cloth in the tea, and then use the cloth as a compress over your affected eye. Try not to rub. The warm tea will soften the hard mucus and soothe the eyes. Obviously, don’t wear contacts while your eyes are infected and throw away whatever pair you were wearing when you got the infection.

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to follow the advice of the optometrist. Too many pink eye infections and wearing damaged contacts can lead to long term consequences. After all the infections, my daughter was left with a couple of tiny scars on the surface of her eye and these leave her vulnerable for other eye issues later in life. You are smarter than that! Please comment below with your experiences with pink eye.

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