Pink Eye Treatment – Do Home Remedies Really Work?


There are quite a number of home remedies floating around for the treatment of Pink Eye. But they pretty much come down to the same thing. Some suggest the use of a compress, which is simply a moist soft cloth or pad held over the eye, while others indicate that you should swab or bathe the eye. They only differ in what they suggest you should put in the water.

None of these so-called ‘remedies’ will cure the condition. But they can relieve the symptoms, and speed up the recovery process, which makes them a useful addition to the treatment of Pink Eye.

The five questions you need answers to are:

1. What liquid should I use?

Clean water should be used. It doesn’t have to be sterilized – ordinary tap water is fine. If you’re in any doubt about the quality of the tap water, you should boil it, or use bottled water.

2. What should I put in it?

That’s up to you, but my recommendation is bicarbonate of soda, at the rate of half a teaspoon to a cup of water. Bicarbonate of soda is a common ingredient, is readily available, is safe and easy to use, and has no side effects.

3. What temperature is best?

Again, that’s up to you. Personally, I like it warm, but use whatever temperature you feel will give you the most relief. Just make sure that it’s not too hot.

4. What do I apply it with?

If you’re planning to swab or bathe the eye, then use something small, soft, and disposable. A make-up removal pad is ideal, or a small wad of cotton wool. Wipe the eye gently, in an outward motion (i.e. from the nose to the ear). Try not to use the same part of the swab twice.

If you are going to use it as a compress, you probably need something a little larger, such as a face washer, or a small hand towel.

5. How often, and for how long, do I treat the eye?

5-10 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day, is usually ample.