Over the counter treatment for pink eye depends on the cause of conjunctivitis. The CDC identifies viruses, bacteria, allergens and irritants as the four main causes of this painful eye condition. Often, pink eye heals on its own, without intervention, but there are over the counter comfort solutions available.
Hot or cold compresses are recommended by WebMD to sooth pain and also reduce inflammation. If the pink eye is caused by allergy or irritants like smoke, antihistamine eye drops may be helpful in reducing duration of the condition. However, a bacterial infection of the eye treatment typically requires prescription antibiotic.