In simple terms, allergic conjunctivitis is allergy-induced pink eye. This type of pink eye is not contagious but often affects both eyes at the same time.
Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when something you are allergic to irritates the conjunctiva, the delicate membrane covering the eye and the inside of the eyelid.
Like all allergies, allergic conjunctivitis starts when the immune system identifies an otherwise harmless substance as an allergen. This causes your immune system to overreact and produce antibodies, which in turn cause an allergic reaction.
In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, the reaction starts after exposure to allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, royal jelly, contact lens solution, mold, or chemicals.
Allergic conjunctivitis can be either acute or chronic. Common symptoms include excess clear, watery discharge from the eyes, redness, itching, and swelling. The eyes also may feel gritty and sandy.
Allergies affect people of all ages, though this problem is common in people who have other allergic conditions, such as hay fever, asthma, or eczema.
Early diagnosis can help prevent the symptoms from becoming worse. With some precautionary measures and simple home remedies, you can experience relief or at least reduce the severity of symptoms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for allergic conjunctivitis.
1. Avoid Triggers
While completely avoiding environmental factors that cause allergic conjunctivitis is not possible, at least try to limit your exposure.
To minimize your exposure to allergens:
- Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high.
- Keep your home dust-free and vacuum regularly.
- Use an indoor air purifier to improve the quality of indoor air.
- Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, dyes, and perfumes.
2. Cold Compresses
Applying cold compresses over the affected eyes can give you quick relief from the itching and pain (1). It also helps bring down the swelling.
You can use any of the following options:
- Soak a small lint-free cloth in ice cold water, wring it out and place it over your closed eyes. Remove it after 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day.
- Wrap some ice cubes in a lint-free cloth. Place it over your closed eyes and remove it after 5 minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times more.
- Placing a cold spoon on your closed eyes is another trick that you can try.
Note: Use different cloths for each eye.
3. Saline Solution
Flushing out your eyes with some homemade saline solution is another effective remedy if you get an allergen in your eye, the key reason behind allergic conjunctivitis.
Saline solution is good for irritated and inflamed eyes, and helps wash away any debris in the eyes.
- Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of distilled water.
- Bring the water to a boil, then allow it to cool.
- Use it as an eyewash, using an eyecup or dropper.
- Repeat the process several times a day.
Caution: Always make sure the water isn’t too hot, or else it may damage your eyes.
4. Black Tea Poultice
A black tea poultice is another good remedy for allergic conjunctivitis. The tannins in black tea are soothing for your eyes and help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Steep 2 black tea bags in 2 cups of hot water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags, set them aside on a clean plate, and allow them to cool down a bit.
- Use the tea bags as a warm poultice over your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do it 3 or 4 times a day until your condition improves.
Due to its powerful anti-allergenic nature, chamomile is another good remedy for allergic conjunctivitis. It inhibits the release of histamine, which helps prevent an allergic reaction that causes this problem.
When chamomile tea is used as a cold compress or eyewash, it can provide relief from itchiness and eye irritation.
- Put 2 chamomile tea bags in 2 cups of hot water and let them steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and set them aside in the refrigerator. Put the chilled tea bags over your closed eyes for about 10 minutes. Do this 3 or 4 times a day for fast recovery.
- Also, use the cool chamomile tea as an eyewash, 2 or 3 times a day.
6. Rose Water
Pure rose water is another effective home remedy for allergic conjunctivitis. It is soothing and cooling for the eyes and helps clear the irritant that causes this type of pink eye.
The anti-inflammatory as well as soothing properties of rose water also help reduce the redness and itchiness.
- Rinse your eyes with pure rose water 2 or 3 times a day.
- Dip 2 cotton balls in rose water and place them over your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.