Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the clear membrane that lines the eye.
Conjunctivitis is caused most commonly by infection from viruses or bacteria, or by an allergic reaction, though other causes exist, such as overexposure to sun, wind, smog, chlorine, or contact lens solution. Pinkeye is the common name for conjunctivitis. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid; most commonly, it is caused by a bacterial infection.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis and blepharitis may cause mild discomfort with tearing, itching, burning, light sensitivity, and thickening of the eyelids. They may also produce a crust or discharge, occasionally causing the eyelids to stick together during sleep. The eyes and eyelids may become red, but usually there is no blurring or change in vision.
Nutritional supplements that may be helpful
Vitamin A deficiency has been reported in people with chronic conjunctivitis.1 It is unknown whether vitamin A supplementation can prevent conjunctivitis or help people who already have the condition. Find Vitamin A on Amazon here.
Herbs that may be helpful
Several herbs have been traditionally used to treat eye inflammation. Examples include calendula, eyebright, chamomile, and comfrey. None of these herbs has been studied for use in conjunctivitis or blepharitis. As any preparation placed on the eye must be kept sterile, the topical use of these herbs in the eyes should only be done under the supervision of an experienced healthcare professional.
Goldenseal and Oregon grape contains the antibacterial constituent known as berberine. While topical use of berberine in eye drops has been clinically studied for eye infections, the use of the whole herbs has not been studied for conjunctivitis or blepharitis.