Wet weather may bring a welcome respite from the summer's heat, but it's also the time for the dreaded monsoon malady 'conjunctivitis' or 'pink eye' as it is commonly called. It's the season to be careful.
Conjunctivitis is a condition involving inflammation of the conjunctiva (clear line surrounding the whites of our eyes) of the eyes, which makes the eyes red and photophobic (highly sensitive to light), with discharge and a burning sensation. Severe inflammation could lead to irreparable damage of the cornea-the transparent surface of the eyeball-leading to blindness.
Symptoms: Redness, irritation and watering of the eyes, sometimes with a yellow or white discharge. Because of the way it feels, some people may insist there is a foreign body stuck under their eyelid and will try to remove it, further irritating the eye. If you're affected, avoid touching your eyes and wash hands and face every few hours.
Remedies: Conjunctivitis is a contagious condition that spreads very easily. Here are some effective remedies to help deal with conjunctivitis.
Cilantro Leaves: Apply the pulp of fresh cilantro leaves on closed eyelids. Blend a handful of cilantro leaves with ¼ to 1/3 cup water, strain out the juice, and apply the pulp to your closed eyelids. Drinking the liquid will also be beneficial.
Coriander eyewash: Make eyewash by steeping 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds in 1 cup of boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Strain thoroughly, and cool before using the water on your closed eyes. (Don't worry if a little goes into the eyes.) Caution: Don't use it either too hot or too cold.
Goat's milk compress: Dip a sterilized cotton ball in goat's milk, and put it over your eyes. This will help the conjunctivitis to be healed.
Herbal remedy: Internally, you can take a mixture of equal parts of kama dudha and gulwel sattva. Take ¼ teaspoon of this mixture with warm water twice a day for 1 week.
The best way to heal conjunctivitis in young children is to place a drop of mother's milk in the eye. Mother's milk is healing for her child. If the mother is still lactating, and her child gets conjunctivitis, with irritation and discharge in the eye, just one drop of her milk may heal it.
Prevention: Do not share towels, clothes, sheets, tissues, eye-drops, eye-makeup or sunglasses / spectacles. Homoeopathy offers an effective preventive: Euphrasia eye drops, available over the counter in medical stores is another effective measure.
If your conjunctivitis is not cleared up within 3 to 4 days, immediately see your doctor.