Pinkeye is an eye condition that is usually temporary and the result of a bacterial infection, viral infection, or allergic reaction. People can help relieve the symptoms of each type with home remedies.

Pinkeye, which doctors call conjunctivitis, usually resolves within without treatment. In the meantime, home remedies may relieve the itchiness, discomfort, and inflammation.

This article discusses five quick and easy home remedies for pinkeye, along with when a person might wish to see a doctor.

pink eye
There are three main causes of pinkeye.

Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat pinkeye. However, antibiotics will only help with pinkeye caused by bacteria, and will not treat pinkeye that a virus or allergy prompts.

The three primary causes of pinkeye are:

  • Viral infections, which usually clear up on their own within .
  • Bacterial infections may improve within without treatment, though antibiotic eye drops can speed up healing.
  • Allergens, such as pollen or pet dander. Symptoms will improve once a person clears the allergen from their eye.

Bacterial pinkeye is relatively easy to diagnose because the eye it affects often produces thick pus, while the discharge from viral and allergic pinkeye looks more like water.

Home remedies, as discussed here, can relieve symptoms regardless of the cause.

Eye drops containing antihistamines can help relieve pain associated with pinkeye.

Some over-the-counter medications can help minimize pinkeye symptoms.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help with pain relief and inflammation.

Allergy medication can also relieve symptoms of pinkeye if an allergy is the cause. These medications include:

  • antihistamine tablets
  • topical eye drops containing antihistamines
  • mast cell stabilizers