Many of us, at one point or another have seen or have experienced what is commonly known in the Western part of the world as pinkeye or more technically, conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva - the membrane that lines the eyelid and wraps around to cover most of the white of the eye. When someone has pinkeye, the eyes may appear swollen and bloodshot, and are often itchy and irritated. Since the infected area is often filled with pus, the eyelids are apt to stick together after being closed for an extended period of time. In serious cases, vision can become blurry; in this case, it is highly recommended that you consult a trained professional.
Factors that can contribute to conjunctivitis include bacterial infections, virus, injury to the eye, allergies, and exposure to substances that are irritating to the eye. such as fumes, smoke, contact lens solutions, chlorine form swimming pools, chemicals, makeup, or any other foreign substance or particle that enters the eye. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious if it is caused by a viral infection.
- 25 000 IU of vitamin A (with carotenoid complex, lutein, and zeaxanthin) for 1 month, then reduce to 15 000 IU daily. If your pregnant, do not exceed 10 000 IU daily, or as directed. Use an emulsion form for easier assimilation and greater safety at high doses.
- 2000-6000 mg of vitamin C uses (with bioflavonoids) daily, in divided does. Protects the eye(s) from further damage.
- 50 mg of zinc daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily. Zinc enhances immune response. Use zinc gluconate lozenges for best absorption.
- Calendula, chamomile, fennel, and/or eyebright herbal teas can be used to make a hot compress. Eyebright can also be taken orally as it is especially good for eye irritation and inflammation. Eyebright tea can also be cooled to rinse the infected eye. Caution: do not use chamomile is your are allergic to ragweed, or if you are pregnant. Chamomile may also negatively interact with warfarin, so patients using this drug should avoid it.
- Ginko Biloba is also proven to be beneficial in improving the symptoms of allergic conjuntivitis.
- Increase your consumption of leafy green vegetables (collard greens, kale, mustard greens and spinach), legumes, and yellow vegetables. Furthermore, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, as well as foods rich in vitamin C and E, such as raw fruits and vegetables are also beneficial.
- Apply a hot compress, using the teas noted above to the eye several times a day. Many of the microorganisms that cause pinkeye, cannot tolerate heat.
- If your eyelids are swollen, try peeling and grating a fresh potato, wrapping it with gauze, and placing it over the infected eye. This acts as an astringent and has a healing effect.
If pain or blurred vision occurs, seek medical attention. These symptoms can be signs of something more serious. If your symptoms appear to be mild, feel free to try out some of the >remedies above. The most important thing is to culture a strong immune system so that you can avoid these infections in the future. For an extensive list of remedies and scientific publications, please reference the many articles available through GreenMedInfo.com.
1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC