They say there is a first for everything, which is the case for my family. Since hubby and I decided to send our five-year-old toddler out to school this fall, he has been bringing home what seems like every virus there is. Since it was also my first time having a toddler and an infant in the home, I was unprepared for what I had to deal with. It’s like a battle between myself and whatever sickness and germs he picked up, and like a mama hen, I am constantly in defensive mode.
My poor boy’s immune system has been working harder than ever. So I will be up all night making natural remedies and caring for my son at the onset of anything. It especially seems as if every weekend, I am fighting a cold, so he would be suitable for Monday, and the process starts over by the end of the week.
So he eventually caught conjunctivitis at school, and we tried our best not to have it spread to the rest of us. But unfortunately, his baby sister, who is only two months, caught it, and it broke my heart to see her eyes pasted shut with gunk, especially when she woke up in the mornings. Sickness generally seeks out the weakest and most fragile to attack. Consequently, we must take care of our bodies and families to fight off anything that is not good for us.
My baby girl had slight redness and mucus, which went away in three days. I used her wet diaper and warm salt water to clean her eyes. Right after, my eyes began to itch, and in no time, they were blood red, itchy, and painful. It was so bad that my head hurt. It took five days of discomfort and hard work before it began clearing up. On day four of my conjunctivitis saga, my daughter (eldest) caught it, but apart from light pink eyes and mucus, she was not doing too bad. Unfortunately, my husband was the last to get it. So we celebrated our eldest birthday with pink eyes, haha. This should be a fun memory for us.
Conjunctivitis or pinkeye occurs when the inner part of the eye becomes inflamed. The eye(s) then becomes swollen, red, painful, and itchy. In addition, pus may appear in the eye, causing it to stick together for some time.
Types of discharge and what it means:
a. Viral – Thin and watery discharge
b. Allergenic – white and stingy discharge
c. bacterial – Appearance of pus
Conjunctivitis is very contagious when a virus causes it. The cause, however, is both viral and bacterial infection. Therefore, proper hygiene is essential during this time, and one should avoid sharing towels, washcloths, and cosmetics. Wash hands regularly, and avoid touching the eye.
So in case of conjunctivitis should become your reality, here are a few natural ways to treat it.
- Saltwater/Saline Irrigation – Add two leveled teaspoons to 1-quart water and rinse the discharge out of the eye.
- Hot compress and cold application – apply every four hours. (Please do not make it too hot as this can damage the eye). Apply warm cloth for 2 minutes, then cold for 30 seconds.
- Charcoal – Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of charcoal powder to 1 cup of water, then boil. Allow to cool, strain through layers of cloth, pour in a dropper, and apply 4-5 drops every 2 hours. Use during the day.
- Herbs – some herds that are useful in treating pinkeye are chamomile tea bags, catnip red raspberry leaf, and aloe vera juice. Use with warm water, squeeze out excess water, and place over the affected eye for 2-3 minutes, 3-4 times a day.