Holistic Eyecare

Is it Pink Eye?


Pink Eye comes in a lot of shapes and forms.. When someone asks about pink eye, they are usually concerned about the viral form that is highly contagious and similar to the common cold. 


There are many different reasons an eye can become red.  In fact, a red eye is only the eye communicating that something is wrong, and it is up to the patient and the doctor to figure our the exact problem. 

Sooo... when you think you have "pink eye" it is best to see an eye doctor to confirm the culprit.

Signs that it is contagious

1.  Ropy, Sticky Discharge
2.  Eye sticking together in the morning
3.  Starting only in one eye and/or spreading to the next

If this is happening, it is probably contagious and you should take the following precautions:

1.  Wash hands constantly
2.  Use warm water to keep eye clean
3.  Use disposable paper towels or kleenex to clean as to not contaminate towels
4.  Discontinue contact lens wear AND throw out case and any used contact lenses
5.  Discontinue eye makeup AND throw out any used mascara and/or eye liners
6.  See eye doctor for confirmation

Any of these signs can be caused by a virus, bacteria or even an allergy.  This is where the doctor comes in.  He or she may choose to treat with medications or not, depending on their findings under the microscope.

Viral Conjunctivitis is similar to the common cold, is very contagious and is usually left untreated.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis usually is characterized by a yellowish-green discharge in one or both eyes, and is treated with antibiotics. 

Allergic Conjunctivitis usually occurs in both eyes, and the important thing is to find out what the allergen is and to avoid it.  Your eye doctor can help you with this history. 

Signs that it could be more serious

1.  Light Sensitivity
2.  Being a contact lens wearer
3.  Severe pain
4.  Severe decrease in vision
5. Re-occurring "pink eye" in the same and/or different eye

If you are a contact lens wearer, the number one thing is to take your contacts out and see an eye doctor.  Even though the condition may seem minor, contact lens wearers are more at risk for more serious, vision threatening conditions like ulcers.

Light Sensitivity, Severe Pain and Vision Decrease could be a sign of a deeper inflammation called uveitis... It is very similar to arthritic pain in the eye and can be a sign of other inflammations in the body.  It is very important that the eye inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medications under the care of an eye doctor so that the eye may heal properly. 

It should also be noted these same symptoms could mean a number of serious conditions including high ocular pressure.


If the "pink eye" has happened before in the same or even a different eye, this again can be a sign of a much deeper inflammation.  The problem here is that each time the eye flares up and is left untreated, scarring may occur in the cornea and may cause a permanent decrease in vision.

Are there any Natural Treatments for Pink eye?


HYDRATE.  REST.  NOURISH.  USE PROBIOTIC



The eyes like all parts of the body, need water and minerals to stay healthy.  Dehydration is the cause of many different issues.  Start your healing through:

Water:  Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day.  If you weight 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water each day

Take it Easy:  Virus' and Bacteria show up when our resistance is low.  Not getting enough rest is a sure way to lower resistance.  Getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night gives the body and mind time to heal

Mineralize:  Eating High Mineral Foods like fruits and vegetables are easy to digest and give the body what it needs to heal.  Here is a list of High Mineral Foods:

Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, kale);
Wild edibles (e.g., dandelion, nettles, wild grasses);
Fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, cilantro, basil, garlic);
Grasses (e.g. wheat, barley grass);
Sprouts;
Sea vegetables (e.g. kelp, nori, dulse, spirulina, blue green algae);
Medicinal mushrooms (e.g. shiitake, maitake, reishi).

Taking a Probiotic.  There are ones you can buy and ones that are natural..  Most infections start with an imbalance of the bacteria in the belly... We will go in depth later.
Try things like yogurt, kombucha, Kimchi, Saurkraut are excellent natural probiotics.

There are herbs that can help... make sure they are alkalizing, calming and anti-inflammatory.  A good list is at  www.herbnbush.com
 
***Whenever you are being treated with any medication, a good probiotic is helpful to keep the gut balanced 

We will discuss Gut Health and its role in allergies over the next few weeks.

I hope this article is helpful..

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