Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that causes the white part of your eye to turn red. It is also commonly known as pink eye.
When you are suffering from conjunctivitis, you may exhibit the following symptoms:
• Itchy eyes
• Watery eyes
• Swollen eye lids
• Thick discharge from the eyes.
Most cases of pink eye are caused by either a virus or bacteria. It is not a serious condition so you do not have to worry. Most cases of this common eye condition even resolve on their own over time. However, there are instances when you can develop a more serious case of conjunctivitis that would require medications like eye drops.
Recently, a more natural approach to treating conjunctivitis has emerged. The use of supplements and other alternative treatments are said to help remove or prevent the infection. Note, however, that before you begin taking supplements and alternative treatments, makes sure to consult your optometrist first to know whether or not these might work for you.
Here are some of the alternatives you may resort to in treating your conjunctivitis:
Vitamin A is essential in building our body’s immune system. A strong immune system helps remove or reduce the symptoms of conjunctivitis.
Vitamin A may be obtained from carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, butter, spinach, pumpkin, egg, papaya, mango, pea and milk, among others.
If you are not getting enough vitamin A from the food you eat, you can try taking supplements. For most people, the ideal and safe dosage of vitamin A can be as much as 10,000 IU.
Make sure to discuss with your doctor before you start including vitamin A supplements in your diet. He needs to know your over-all health as well as the current supplements and medications you are taking since additional vitamin A supplements might interfere with your other medical conditions and treatments.
Similar to vitamin A, vitamin C is also essential for our bodies’ immune system. Vitamin C is also known to prevent or reduce inflammation in the eyes. This is essential when you are suffering from conjunctivitis because it is the inflammation of the white part of the eye that causes severe redness in this eye condition.
Good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, bell peppers, parsley, cauliflower, lemon juice, strawberries, papaya, cabbage, romaine lettuce, oranges, cantaloupe, grapefruit, pineapple, tomatoes, spinach, green beans, asparagus and watermelon.
To supplement your diet, you may take vitamin C supplements. Experts recommend the intake of between 250 to 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day.
Similar to the two vitamins mentioned above, Zinc is also essential in improving the responsiveness of our bodies’ immune system.
Zinc may be obtained from oysters, cereals, chicken, cashews, cheese, oatmeal, almonds, kidney beans and peas, among others.
You may also take zinc supplements to make up for any deficiencies you may have. The ideal dosage would be 30 to 50 mg of zinc per day. Make sure not to consume more than 100mg of zinc supplements on any given day.
The reality though is that none of these treatments have any real proof. As we age the incidence of infective conjunctivitis tends to be viral as opposed to bacterial and whether any of these supplements actually in fact protect us from conjunctivitis is debatable. What is not debatable though is that if you do get a case of conjunctivitis a visit to your therapeutically trained optometrist will sort it out for you sooner rather than later.