What Gets Rid of Pink Eye Fast?

Reviewed on 2/23/2021

What Is Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Antibiotics may clear up bacterial pink eye in a day or two (but make sure to take the whole course to prevent resistance). Viral and other causes of eye inflammation may take longer to resolve.
Antibiotics may clear up bacterial pink eye in a day or two (but make sure to take the whole course to prevent resistance). Viral and other causes of eye inflammation may take longer to resolve.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and the whites of the eyes (the sclera). 

The five main types of conjunctivitis include: 

  • Viral
  • Bacterial
  • Allergic
  • Toxic (also called toxic keratoconjunctivitis)
  • Nonspecific, for example:
    • Dry eye
    • Irrigation after a chemical splash
    • Foreign body irritation (e.g., dust, eyelash)

What Are Symptoms of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Symptoms of pink eye (conjunctivitis) include: 

  • Eye redness
  • Eye irritation
  • Eye discharge
    • May be watery or thick
    • May be white, yellow, or green
    • Discharge continues to drain throughout the day
    • The affected eye is frequently crusty and stuck shut in the morning
  • Burning, gritty, or sandy feeling in the eye
  • Cold symptoms may accompany viral conjunctivitis, such as
  • Itching of both eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)

What Is the Treatment for Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Treatment for pink eye (conjunctivitis) depends on the cause. 

Viral conjunctivitis treatment includes: 

  • Topical antihistamine/decongestant eye drops to relieve eye irritation 
    • Drops are usually available without a prescription 
    • Take care to avoid spreading the viral infection from one eye to the other
    • Apply drops to the affected eye only, and wash hands thoroughly after application
  • Use warm or cool compresses as needed

Bacterial conjunctivitis treatment includes:

  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointment 
  • Most cases go away on their own even if no treatment is used
  • Contact lens wearers should not wear lenses the first 24 hours of treatment, or until the eye is no longer red
  • Discard contact lens cases and disinfect contacts overnight or replace (if disposable)

Allergic conjunctivitis treatment includes:

  • Eye drops containing naphazoline-pheniramine, ketotifen, olopatadine, and others

Toxic conjunctivitis treatment includes:

  • Removal of the offending agent
  • Stop using any topical eye medications 
    • Don’t stop taking any prescribed eye medications without first talking to your doctor, especially glaucoma drops, because increased eye pressure may cause permanent vision loss

Nonspecific conjunctivitis treatment includes:

  • Usually goes away on its own within a few days without treatment
  • Lubricant drops or ointments may ease symptoms as the eye heals

Some home remedies to get rid of pink eye symptoms fast include: 

  • Use ibuprofen or over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
  • Use lubricating eye drops (artificial tears)
    • Do not use red-eye reducing eye drops, which can irritate eyes if you have pink eye, and can worsen symptoms
  • Use a warm compress on the eyes
  • Take allergy medicine or use allergy eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis 

SLIDESHOW

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 2/23/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/conjunctivitis-pink-eye-beyond-the-basics?search=Pink%20Eye&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2

https://www.southerncross.co.nz/group/medical-library/conjunctivitis-pink-eye-symptoms-treatment-prevention

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/conjunctivitis?search=Pink%20Eye&source=search_result&selectedTitle=4~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=4#H25

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/pink-eye-quick-home-remedies