Pink Eye!!!

It’s that time of year again: Pink Eye Season!

Otherwise known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is gross and people treat your family like you have the plague or lice when someone in your house has pink eye. Pink eye usually refers to a viral infection of the conjunctiva. These infections are especially contagious among children. It’s pretty gross, but the truth is, it’s often caused by children rubbing their nose and then rubbing their eyes with the booger-germs still on their hands.

I’d love to tell you to wash their hands regularly, but I have children. I understand that the split second after you wash their hands they get all gross again. So, I’m not going to even go there. Changing pillow cases nightly supposedly can help, but again… are you going to change the pillow case every single time snot comes dribbling out? Not. Even. Possible.

So, let’s not even try to focus on the hygiene aspect. Kids are about the most un-hygienic beings alive. If your baby is young enough to breastfeed and you are able to breastfeed, that will of course help prevent all kinds of infection. There’s more to the awesomeness of breast milk than that when it comes to pink eye though… Let me just causally mention, that breast milk has many antiviral and antibacterial qualities to it. Also, let me point out that breast milk doesn’t sting a baby’s eyes at all…

Let’s say though, that you’re not lactating. All hope is not lost. You do not need to drop everything and run to the doctor for an antibiotic ointment that probably won’t even work anyway given that most pink eye is viral. Another magical trick for getting rid of pink eye in approximately a day is to use plain old tea bags. Yup, tea bags. If you happen to have Pau d’arco tea bags lying around, that would be ideal… but I never have. Plain old black tea bags work too. It’s super easy. You just get the teabags nice and soaking wet with hot water (but not too hot) and then place them on your child’s eyes several times that day for about fifteen minutes. It works because of the tannic acid in the tea bags. It works really well. Like CRAZY well.

I told my son, to go change in to whatever he was most comfortable in because he’d be laying there for several minutes:

why do you use tea bags for pink eye?


Maybe he dressed fancy was because I was using fancy Earl Grey tea left over from a Christmas gift, or maybe he’s just plain adorable.


  1. Meggin D

    You make me laugh yet again! 🙂 I love the pic of your son all dressed up. Maybe he thought it was a spa treatment?? Anyhow, I used to get styes in my eyes all the time growing up, and it was teabag therapy for me! Good to know that I don’t need to stash a couple of bags of breastmilk in the back of my deepfreeze for just such an eye emergency! 🙂

  2. JeniferDunkle

    Last night I put a regular black tea tea bag on and with in minutes the horrible burning sensation went away, now just waiting for the pink to clear up. This blog was perfectly timed, thanks.

  3. Amanda

    I couldn’t quite tell from your article–does this work on bacterial pink eye as well as viral? My daughter actually had the bacterial pink eye recently. I hated doing eye drops, but wasn’t aware of any other options (besides breastmilk–that was my treatment of choice for years, but now I’m all out!) The tea bags sound great if they would actually clear up the infection.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      It does work on both, yes. And it works super fast, so if it’s NOT going to work, you will know within a few hours… a long enough window to wait on eyedrops. Colloidal Silver is another one that people use as well.

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