Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis is a common illness that kids contract during their younger years. It is basically a inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane) which covers the whites of your eyes and the inner membrane of the eyelid. As with many illnesses, Pink Eye can be either Viral (meaning it’s the result of a virus in your body) or it can be bacterial. Although there are many medications and antibiotics to treat Pink Eye, what we’ll be focusing on here is the over the counter Pink Eye medicine that will help alleviate the symptoms and help your child feel better. The first thing you will need to know is if your child is dealing with viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. As with colds and the Flu, knowing whether you are dealing with a virus or a bacteria will affect which medicines you should purchase and which will actually alleviate symptoms of Pink Eye.
One of the first recommendations is to go with an Antihistamine which can help relieve the irritation and redness that comes with Pink Eye. Most often used for allergies, an antihistamine works to relieve the itchy symptoms that children will encounter when they have contract Pink Eye and the good news is that these types of medications are abundant on the market. Some common antihistamines include:
1. Children’s Benadryl (comes in liquid, tablets and Liqui-gels.)
2. Triaminic (comes in liquid, tablet or thin strips)
4. Tavist Allergy
Be sure to follow the instructions on these medications as some can make your children drowsy and may not be good to take before school or an event.
Outside of an antihistamine to reduce the pain and itchiness, there are few over the counter pink eye medicines that actually work well or don’t make the condition worse. However, we have heard very good things regarding Similasan Pink Eye Drops which you can find online or at most local pharmacies (i.e. CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc) or even at bigger stores like Walmart, Target and Kmart. Similasan Pink Eye Drops are one of the few non prescription drops you can find that will relieve many of the symptoms of Conjunctivitis including redness, burning and the watery (sometimes milky like) discharge that is common with Pink Eye. Although it’s not a cure for bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, Similasan’s product will actually help speed the recovery of Pink Eye with more success coming from those who have contracted the viral version than the bacterial version. If your children are prone to Pink Eye, it is highly recommended to have a bottle of Similasan Pink Eye Drops on hand at all times. It is very inexpensive at less than $10/bottle and at the very least will buy you a bit of time until you can get to a doctor or obtain a prescription for antibiotic eye drops.
Also, for those that cannot afford the Similasan brand, many major chains including Walgreens and CVS carry their own branded versions and refer to them as Homeopathic sterile eye drops or a “Pink Eye Remedy.” They have the same main ingredient which is “Belladonna – 6X” and are safe and effective for children of all ages. These store brands tend to be a bit cheaper and will run in the $6-9 range per bottle.
When it comes to looking for a good over the counter Pink Eye medicine, there are few options for a cure but a handful of good alternatives when it comes to treating the symptoms. The best medicine is to visit your local doctor or Pediatrician and getting it checked out by a professional as you do not want to play games with your child’s eyes and risk potential vision issues. In most cases you will be prescribed an antibiotic eye drop that will tackle the virus or bacteria causing the Pink Eye and that is what you want for your child in the long run. Masking symptoms is fine to a point, but there is no match for a good cure.