What are EYE INFECTIONS | Symptoms and Remedies for EYE INFECTION | EYE Treatment | Herbal Remedy for EYE INFECTION
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye which can be caused by an allergy, hayfever, a foreign body in the eye or and infection. The eye becomes red and feels gritty and tired. It will water and the lids will irritate and become swollen and flaky. There is occasionally also an unpleasant discharge. To reduce the chance of this occurring take scrupulous care to wash the hands before and after touching the eyes.
Always keep cosmetic brushes, pencils and sponges immaculately clean and do not use eye make-up if you have an eye infection. If you use an eyebath sterilize it after each eye has been bathed. Use separate compresses of cotton wool for cleaning soothing one eye at a time and discard immediately after using – preferably burn them. If suffering from conjunctivitis it is sensible to seek professional advice, especially in the case of children.
Styes are similar to a slowly developing boil on the upper lid or lower rim of the eye and are often a sign of general debility or, in old-fashioned parlance, ‘being run down’. They are incredibly painful and can make you feel very low indeed. For a long-term improvement in health look to the diet and eat plenty of fresh green salads, fruit and strong green vegetables such as spinach.
An infusion of eyebright in milk was used to bathe sore eyes but it is better applied in a lotion of 2 drops of tincture of eyebright (euphrasia) to 2 tablespoons of rose water and 1 tablespoon of plain warm boiled water. Although this makes a soothing eyebath it is more effective when soaked into a cotton wool compress. A poultice of fresh steamed cabbage leaves or grated raw potato were two old-fashioned remedies calculated to bring about the speedy dispersal of a stye and so was a bread and milk poultice – in other words, any warm fomentation which would have a ‘drawing’ effect upon the stye and bring it to a head.
I can remember vividly from my own childhood that the three main remedies which were used to cure a stye inn our household were an eyebath of warm boracic lotion, a bearably hot cotton wool compress (over which we needlessly complained) and a perfectly magical unguent called Golden Eye Ointment which was, I believe, also known as Pulsatilla. However when my mother would slip in to rub the afflicted lid with her golden wedding ring which she swore was the only foolproof remedy. Thank heavens that she had not heard of the one involving the powdered bones of a haddock!
Honourable Eyewashes and Compresses for EYE INFECTIONS and TIRED EYES
• Tea bags: Ordinary Indian tea, camomile tea or red raspberry leaf tea bags are all very soothing if laid warm upon the closed lids. They will help relieve the pain of a stye and reduce undereye puffiness. If the tea bags are not easily obtainable saturate cotton wool pads in the tea. Rose hip tea bags and papaya tea bags are those most popularly recommended by beauticians to get rid of ‘bags under the eyes’. Another old favourite of the beauty parlour was to lay half a freshly cut fig on the offending sags and bags to magically remove them.
• Witch hazel: Make cooling compresses with refrigerated witch hazel to lay on the eyelids but make sure that it is used only externally as it can smart very painfully if it infiltrates beneath the lid. Used under the eyes it will reduce puffiness.
• Honey: Take 600ml(1 pint) of boiling water, 1 handful of eyebright and 3 tablespoons of honey. Pour the water over the eyebright and leave until cool. Strain then dissolve the honey in the infusion. Soak cotton wool pads in this solution and leave them on the eyes for 20 minutes to relieve soreness. This remedy was also believed to improve the eyesight.
• Elderflower water, eyebright or fennel infusions: Use one of these to bathe the lids when eyes are sore. They are particularly useful remedies if you have managed to burn your eyelids in the sun.
• Lavender: One drop each of essential oils of lavender and lemon to 1 teaspoon of boiled water used to bathe the eye externally will ease conjunctivitis, styes and inflamed eyelids.
• Chickweed, tansy or watercress: A handful of any one of these green goodies, simmered in a covered pan with 1 cupful of water or milk for five minutes then cooled, will make healing lotion for external use on the eyelids. Strained of excess liquid and placed between muslin, all three herbs will also provide soothing warm or cold compresses for eye tired from overwork, central heating or air conditioning – all of which create a feeling of dryness and tension.
• Potatoes: Grated raw potato has been used a great deal to ease sore puffy eyelids and reduce undereye puffiness. Either strain the juice from a grated potato and saturate cotton wool pads with it or lay the grated vegetable on the eye between layers of muslin. Slices of raw potato or a compress of 1 tablespoon of crushed nasturtium seed added to 1 tablespoon of grated potato will soothe swollen eyelids and reduce swelling – this is a handy tip if you like to indulge in a good cry. A few tears are good for the eyes but we are told that too many will weaken them.
• Apples: a sparkle can be brought back to lackluster eyes by the following method. Infuse 1 tablespoon of marigold petals in 125ml(4 fl oz) of boiling water. Strain the liquid then simmer 1 peeled and finely chopped apple in it. When it is soft, drain the apple, allow to cool and when of a comfortable temperature lay it between two layers of gauze. Place on the eyes and leave for 10 minutes. Apple juice which is smooth, silky and rich in pectin can also be used to wipe sore eyes but it must be juice which has been extracted from cooked apple otherwise it will smart too much. A poultice of raw, grated apple has been considered the only method of reducing bruising caused by a blow in the eye.
• Carrots: A lack of vitamin A can cause poor night vision and as carrots contain a goodly amount of carotene, which is converted to this vitamin in the liver, a large quantity of them in the diet was considered to be the definitive answer. A diet which also includes apricots, peaches, good dark green leafy vegetables, red peppers, cod liver oil, prunes, beetroot, egg yolk and butter is even healthier and more sensible.
Many old-fashioned diets recommended that peaches and apricots were absolute necessities to improve failing vision associated with debility, and I feel sure such a diet would have been the prerogative of the fairly well to do and only obtainable in sun-soaked countries and it would seem likely that a winter spent in the sunshine would certainly perk up all one’s faculties. Most ‘golden’ things were considered to be beneficial to the sight but one of the nicest thoughts is that to gaze upon the bright marigold each day would improve vision. It would undoubtedly make you feel more cheerful.
• Mint: The juice from freshly crushed mint leaves will help eradicate dark shadows beneath the eyes.
• Castor oil: A minute amount of perfectly fresh castor oil smeared along the lids will reduce flaky swelling and irritation but like all oils you should not get it into the eyes for it will smart. One tablespoon of castor oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of almond oil is an excellent eye make-up remover.
• Almond, apricot and coconut oils: All of these are good for lubricating the delicate skin around the eyes. Frequent, gentle massage will help to arrest and disperse fine lines.
The Gentle Touch for EYE INFECTIONS
Do not rub sore, tired and irritating eyes for not only might you damage them but they will become red and swollen and you will drag the surrounding soft skin. Try instead the following methods of relieving discomfort.
• Palming: Press the base of the palms of the hands gently but firmly over the closed lids and maintain pressure for several minutes.
• Blinking: Blink the eyes several times in rapid succession. Close the eyes and go through the same blinking movements.
• Sunning: A little but not too much sun on the eyelids helps to strengthen the eyes but never look into the sun.
• Massage: Using a little fine oil and the tips of three fingers stroke gently from the bridge of the nose out across the eyes beneath and above the brow several times. With finger and thumb pinch the nose beneath the bridge and maintain the pressure for several seconds then using one finger make a stroking movement from the bridge of the nose, across the cheek, under the eyes to the temple.
• These massage movements bring tremendous relief when sinus problems are causing the eyes to ache and when a headache is present. In this instance cold compresses on the region of the eyes and nose will also help to bring relief.
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