Treating Viral Pink Eye at Home

Feeling frustrated with all the symptoms of pink eye? You’re not alone, but thankfully there are easy steps you can take to effectively manage the infection and get back to feeling healthy. This article will explore the basics of treating viral pink eye at home.

Quick facts: Treating Viral Pink Eye At Home

  • ✅ Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can soothe the discomfort of viral pink eye, according to the American Optometric Association. (American Optometric Association)
  • ✅ Research in the journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology suggests that wearing a clean sleeping mask and avoiding shared towels, linens and pillows can help reduce the spread of viral pink eye. (Ophthalmic Epidemiology)
  • ✅ The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American College of Emergency Physicians both recommend the use of warm compresses to help alleviate the symptoms of viral pink eye. (American Academy of Ophthalmology & American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • ✅ Applying a small amount of cornstarch on the eyelids can help dry out the fluid associated with pink eye, according to the World Health Organization. (World Health Organization)
  • ✅ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that washing hands and avoiding contact with the eyes can help prevent the spread of viral pink eye. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


Viral Pink Eye is an infection caused by a virus, like the common cold or the flu. It causes redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin membrane that lines the eyelids and helps keep the eyes moist. Viral pink eye is highly contagious, so it’s important to take steps to prevent it from spreading.

Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help treat this condition effectively. To start with, it’s important to understand what causes viral pink eye and how to recognize the signs and symptoms early on. For mild cases of viral pink eye without any complications, some simple home remedies are all that’s needed for relief. However, if symptoms persist or worsen in spite of treatment at home, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Viral Pink Eye

Viral pink eye, also known as viral conjunctivitis, is highly contagious and is usually caused by a virus. Symptoms of viral pink eye usually include:

  • Redness and swelling in the conjunctiva.
  • Excessive tearing, itching, and a gritty sensation in the eye.
  • In some cases, there may be a discharge from the eyes containing mucus or pus.

Let’s take a closer look at these symptoms.


Redness is one of the most common and obvious signs of viral pink eye. In cases of viral pink eye, the eyes may become red and sore when touched, resulting in a burning sensation. This redness can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the infection. Additionally, conjunctival swelling may be present as a result of inflammation. The eyes might also become excessively watery due to irritation or inflammation caused by an infection. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to check out the eye infection treatment options available to you.

It is important to note that other causes, such as allergies or dry eye can also cause redness of the eyes; therefore it is important for an individual to seek medical advice if they are experiencing symptoms like these.


Swelling is a common symptom of viral pink eye. It can affect the area around your eyes, eyelids, and face. Swelling generally appears around the same time as redness and other symptoms. In some cases, depending on the type of virus, swelling can spread to surrounding areas such as the forehead or cheeks.

The swelling from viral pink eye usually goes away within a couple days as long as you take steps to reduce inflammation and follow your doctor’s recommendations for home care. To help ease swelling, use cold compresses on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. You may also want to take an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Lastly, it’s important to practice good hygiene habits such as:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes too much.


Itching is one of the most common symptoms of Viral Pink Eye. The itching is typically caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva tissue of the eye. People with Viral Pink Eye often describe that their eye feels itchy, scratchy or unusually dry. In some cases, there can be a mild burning sensation as well.

Patients should take care to avoid exposing their eyes to any irritants like dust, smoke, or other airborne particles that may aggravate these symptoms. If itching persists, over-the-counter lubricating drops may be used to help soothe and improve overall comfort levels in the eye.


One of the more common and unpleasant symptoms of viral pink eye is discharge. This typically occurs a few days after infection and persists throughout the length of infection. The discharge may be white, yellow or green in color, and can be watery or thick and gloopy. It can also appear sticky, crusted onto the eyelashes upon waking in the morning.

Discharge may be accompanied by burning or itchy eyes, as well as redness around the eyes or swollen lids. Treatment for this symptom includes:

  • Applying warm compresses to the affected eye(s) to help reduce irritation,
  • Cleaning areas of thick discharge with saline solution,
  • Using eye drops such as artificial tears to help flush out any discharge from the eye(s).

Causes of Viral Pink Eye

Viral pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious infection caused by a virus. It is common among children and can be spread easily in crowded places, such as classrooms. Common signs and symptoms of viral pink eye include redness in the eye, itching, burning, and discharge from the eye.

If you suspect that someone has viral pink eye, it is important to seek medical attention to prevent it from spreading. Let’s take a look at the possible causes of viral pink eye:

Bacterial infection

Bacterial conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear membrane that covers the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. It is commonly caused by bacteria that has come in contact with the eyes or nose. This is typically due to exposure to contaminated objects or water, such as swimming pools and hot tubs. Bacterial pink eye can also be spread from person to person through direct contact with eye discharge from an infected person.

Symptoms of bacterial pink eye may include:

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • A sticky drainage from the eyes
  • Itching
  • Burning sensations

Treatment for bacterial pink eye usually involves antibiotics in either topical drop or ointment form and may require several days to weeks for full recovery. Additionally, mild pain medications such as ibuprofen may be used to help reduce discomfort if needed.

Viral infection

Viral pink eye is an eye infection caused by a virus. It is the most common cause of viral pink eye, accounting for 90% or more cases. The virus responsible for viral pink eye can include adenoviruses, herpes simplex viruses, and less commonly, enteroviruses and poxviruses.

Viral pink eye can spread quickly and easily from person to person through direct contact or contact with contaminated surfaces and objects, such as towels and washcloths. It is also possible to contract it through airborne transmission, when a person breathes in particles of saliva or mucus containing the virus.

The most common symptom of viral pink eye is redness in the white part of one or both eyes. Other symptoms may include:

  • Itching
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Watery discharge from the eyes that may be clear, yellowish-white or greenish-yellow in color
  • Swelling of the eyelid and/or lymph nodes around the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Blurred vision sometimes accompanied by tearing from one or both eyes


Viral Pink Eye, or conjunctivitis, is an infection in the eye usually caused by a virus or bacteria. It is characterized by redness and swelling of the conjunctiva (the clear layer that covers the white area of the eye and lines the inner eyelid). However, it can also be caused by allergies. Allergies are triggered when your body’s immune system reacts to harmless substances such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and mold.

Common signs of allergic pink eye include redness, itching/burning sensation in the eyes and tearing or watering of the eyes. Treatment for allergic pink eye may include:

  • Medicated drops to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Antihistamines to reduce symptoms


To prevent the spread of viral pink eye, proper hygiene is key. Make sure to wash and sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes. Washing your hands with soap and warm water is the best way to keep your hands free from dirt and bacteria.

If you or someone else in your household has been diagnosed with viral pink eye, make sure to avoid sharing towels and other personal items.

Avoid touching eyes

When treating viral pinkeye at home, it is important to avoid touching the affected eye or eyes as this can spread the infection to your hands and then to other people and surfaces. It is also important not to share items that touch your eyes such as towels, face cloths, eye drops, makeup, contact lenses or eye glasses. The virus can live on these items for up to 24 hours and could be passed onto another person in close contact with you.

If you do need to use any of these items it is best to use them once and dispose of them immediately afterwards. By taking these simple steps you can help prevent the spread of viral pink eye.

Wash hands regularly

Regular hand washing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent viral pink eye. It’s important to scrub hands with soap and running water, lathering up all the way up the wrists for at least 20 seconds each time. Even after washing hands, it’s a good idea to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching your eyes or any surfaces that could spread germs. This is especially true when out in public where you may be exposed to more germs than usual.

Make sure to ask family members, friends and co-workers to wash their hands as well, as viral pink eye is highly contagious.

Avoid sharing personal items

Preventing the spread of viral pink eye is important. This is especially true if you have children in the household, since they are at higher risk for transmission. An easy way to reduce the spread of infection is to avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, pillowcases, cosmetics, and eyeglasses with others.

It’s also important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching any surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus. When changing a pillowcase or towel, it’s best to use disposable paper products until the infection has cleared up.

Additionally, it’s helpful to clean and disinfect surfaces around your home such as doorknobs and light switches if someone in your household has been infected. Taking these measures can help reduce the risk of others becoming infected as well.


Treating viral pink eye at home is a possibility; however, it is important to first diagnose if you have viral pink eye. Some treatments for pink eye caused by viruses include cold compresses, artificial tears, and face masks. Additionally, over-the-counter eye drops and antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor.

Let’s take a closer look at other treatments that may help:

Over-the-counter medications

When it comes to treating viral pink eye at home, many people turn to over-the-counter medications for relief. The most commonly recommended over-the-counter medications include artificial tears, decongestants and lubricants.

  • Artificial tears help relieve the discomfort associated with dry eyes by creating a protective coating over the eye’s surface and preventing further irritation.
  • Decongestants are used to reduce redness, while lubricants provide a protective layer that helps keep the eyes moist and reduce inflammation.

Some people also choose to apply warm compresses to their eyes several times a day in order to help reduce swelling, itching and redness associated with viral pink eye. Keep in mind that while these treatments may offer temporary relief, they won’t cure the condition, so it is important to seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

Home remedies

When dealing with viral pink eye at home, it’s important to take steps to prevent contagion and reduce discomfort. Home remedies may include using a cold or warm compress to reduce swelling, using artificial tears to moisturize the eyes and reduce irritation, and avoiding wearing contact lenses until symptoms subside. It is also beneficial to practice good hygiene by cleaning hands often and washing sheets, towels, and washcloths regularly.

For additional relief, some people opt for over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief, although these should only be used as directed. Antihistamine eye drops can also be used to reduce redness but should not be used unless recommended by a healthcare professional. Finally, careful avoidance of allergens that are known triggers can help reduce the risk of flare ups in those who have an underlying allergy-related cause of pink eye.

Prescription medications

Prescription medications are used to treat viral pink eye when symptoms are severe or if other treatments fail to provide relief. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic eye-drop or a steroid eye-drop to help reduce inflammation and clear up the infection. Antibiotic drops can also help reduce any existing bacterial infections. Your doctor may also prescribe a topical antiviral medication, such as trifluridine, that can be taken twice daily for five days or longer depending on your condition.

If your doctor prescribes oral antibiotics, it is important to take them for the full course of treatment even after symptoms improve, in order to ensure the infection has been fully cleared up.

When to See a Doctor

If you suspect you or a family member may have viral pink eye, it’s important to seek medical advice. Some symptoms of viral pink eye can be similar to those of bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis. While bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis can easily be treated at home, the same cannot be said for viral pink eye.

It is important to see a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • extreme pain in the eyes
  • feelings of pressure behind the eyes
  • drainage from the eyes (particularly yellowish drainage)
  • blurring or loss of vision
  • light sensitivity
  • severe redness in one or both eyes that lasts longer than two days without relief from home treatments
  • persistent fever with no other signs of illness

These could indicate a more serious problem requiring medical care. Additionally, certain individuals—like contact lens wearers and those with weakened immune systems—may need to seek medical attention for any type of pink eye infection due to their increased risk for complications.


Treating viral pink eye at home can be done with some basic remedies and self-care. It is important to carefully follow the instructions of your doctor regarding any medication they prescribe, as well as to practice good hygiene.

To reduce discomfort, use cool compresses and over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Additionally, ensure hands are washed frequently, avoid touching eyes, and do not share items that may have come in contact with the affected eye(s).

Make sure to seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.

FAQs about: Treating Viral Pink Eye At Home

Q: Is it possible to treat viral pink eye at home?

A: Yes, it is possible to treat viral pink eye at home, although it is important to note that viral pink eye can last a few weeks or even months and may require a doctor’s visit for further treatment. Rest and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the discomfort associated with the infection.

Q: What are the symptoms of viral pink eye?

A: The symptoms of viral pink eye include redness, swelling, tearing, burning, and itching in the eyes, as well as a thick yellow or green discharge from the eyes.

Q: What can I do to prevent viral pink eye?

A: To prevent viral pink eye, it’s important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands often and avoiding touching your eyes. Additionally, avoid sharing towels, pillows, and other items that may have been contaminated.

Similar Posts