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The 'sclera' or 'white' of the eye is covered by transparent membrane known as the 'conjunctiva' which easily becomes inflamed if exposed to irritation or infection. This inflammation is known as 'conjunctivitis'. Normally the white part of the eyeball appears pinkish or reddish in colour.


  • More often, conjunctivitis is caused by an allergy to pollen, house dust, or make-up - this type is known as allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Reaction to chemical irritants like factory fumes, tobacco smoke or excessive chlorine in swimming pool water, is known as chemical conjunctivitis.
  • Allergic and chemical conjunctivitis are not contagious. However conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or viral infections are communicable from one person to another rapidly. Therefore this type is known as infectious conjunctivitis. Strict hygienic practices are essential, otherwise it may become an epidemic.

Signs & Symptoms

Red, itchy, burning eyes with watering inflammation over inner eyelids is the main feature along with sticky discharge from eyes, which seals the lids together overnight.

In bacterial type, the discharge appears like pus and if viral in nature, the discharge will be thinner and more watery.

Herbal Medicines

Fresh breastmilk is the best home remedy for conjunctivitis. It should be poured into both eyes 4 to 5 times daily.

Ayurvedic Remedies

A doctor must be consulted first, before using any of the remedies.

  1. Triphala Lotion: 15 grams of fresh Triphalachurna should be soaked in one glass (200ml) of pure water for ½ hour. Then boil it on mild flame till ½ volume remains. Filter it through a clean cloth. Use this lotion for washing the affected eyes 3 to 4 times a day. This clears the eyes.
  2. Triphala Churna can be taken internally also in the condition. 5 grams of powder with water twice a day in viral type is very useful.
  3. Amla (Indian gooseberry): The freshly extracted juice in the dose of 2 teaspoonful thrice a day is rewarding.
    • I-Tone (Dey's) eye drops should be put into both the eyes, 4 to 5 times in a day.
    • Optho Care (Himalaya Drug Co.) eye drops is also an effective remedy for conjunctivitis. 4 to 6 drops should be put in the eyes.
Do's & Don'ts
  1. Wear dark glasses.
  2. Wear goggles while swimming.
  3. Do not touch your eyes unnecessarily.
  4. Do not share towels, etc.
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