While there is no natural cure for pinkeye, most of the time, it gets better on its own within a week. Cold compresses, over-the-counter eye drops and anti-inflammatory medicines help to reduce the symptoms. Contact lens wearers should switch to glasses until the eye heals.
Bacteria, viruses or allergies may cause irritation resulting in a red or pink coloring of the clear lining over the white of the eye. Most pinkeye is viral in nature, and medical treatments do not help; however, the infection is very contagious. Proper hand washing helps to prevent the spread of pinkeye.
Contact lenses often make the irritation worse. The bacteria or virus can also live on the lenses and in contact lens solutions. If a contact wearer develops pinkeye, he should contact his lens provider. It is often necessary to replace disposable lenses, contact cases and solutions after a pinkeye infection. Users should thoroughly clean and disinfect nondisposable lenses before reinserting them.
Other serious eye conditions often mimic pinkeye. If the person experiences swelling around the eye, severe pain, changes in vision or light sensitivity, he should consult a doctor. If the condition does not get better within a week without treatment, it requires medical intervention.