Summary: There really aren’t any good options to treat viral or bacterial Pink Eye over the counter. Similasan Pink Eye Drops and red eye drops like Clear Eyes or Allerest may come in handy for symptom control. Warm compresses are helpful as well. The most important thing is to remember is viral or bacterial Pink Eye is extremely contagious.
Dear Curtis: I think my youngest daughter has pink eye. It’s red, goopy and looks like the cases of pink eye that I’ve seen before with my other kids. Nobody else in the family has it and I really don’t think it’s anything serious enough to go to the doctor over. In the past I had prescription drops for my other kids. Now, my medicine cabinet is bare. I don’t want to take her to the doctor and pay for an appointment. Is there anything over the counter that I could buy that might help with the pink eye?
Of course, this assumes that it is indeed pink eye. After all, there are other causes for what appears to be Pink Eye.
But, assuming it’s Pink Eye – I have some bad news. There really isn’t any specific product that I know of over the counter that is designed to treat pink eye. Pink Eye, as you are referring to it, is a (usually) viral or bacterial infection of the eye and is extremely contagious (especially among kids).
Now, while there is no specific product to treat Pink Eye there are some things you can do that might relieve the symptoms and make it through the next week to ten days without too much trouble. By that time the infection should go away on it’s own. If it hasn’t, or doesn’t look like it’s improving at all then it is very likely not Pink Eye and you’ll need to take your daughter to the doctor.
Similasan Pink Eye Treatment
I’ve written before about Similasan Pink Eye Drops. I wanted to touch upon them again because too few people realize that this is a homeopathic remedy. Basically, homeopathy operates on the “like cures like” principle. If you aren’t familiar with homeopathy I’d encourage you to take a look at Wikipedia’s page on the subject.
For the most part homeopathy has been debunked a number of times as being no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill). But, despite this evidence I have had a number of folks say that it helped them. Personally, I’m not a big fan but I would not be doing my job or helping you if I didn’t mention that I’ve had people claim success with the product.
Please note that many of the folks who have claimed great results are also supporters of homeopathy itself. Which may explain the dreaded placebo effect I talked about above.
The point is, don’t dismiss the product because it is homeopathic. It may end up working for you and it certainly isn’t expensive. Also, if you do try it I’d love to get your feedback on how it performed. I enjoy being proved wrong (well, maybe enjoy isn’t the right word).
Controlling Pink Eye Symptoms
Honestly, the best thing that you can do for Pink Eye is to control the symptoms as best you can since you lack a good treatment option.
There are some eye drops that you can buy over the counter that act as a decongestant. A popular brand name version is called Clear Eyes or Allerest Eye Drops. Now, while these are particularly used for patients suffering from allergies it may help alleviate the redness that comes along with pink eye. But don’t forget, it will do nothing to actually get rid of the infection.
Avoid touching your eyes directly. If you do, make sure to wash and dry your hands well. And, when you dry off, use your own towel. The biggest problem I see with Pink Eye is people underestimate just how contagious it really is.
A warm compress is pretty helpful for soothing the redness in the eye as well as carefully wiping away any of the ‘goop’ that might congregate near the corners of the eye. Again, remember to keep this particular towel or compress away from others.
While I’d encourage you to always follow up with your doctor – as a parent myself – I understand why you’d like to avoid it. Truth be told, almost all cases of Pink Eye will go away on their own within a week to ten days. Just monitor it. If it doesn’t appear to be clearing up then you may want to give your doctor a call.