41 answers

Pink Eye W/no Insurance

ok moms, no judgements please...i had to drop our insurance a couple months ago b/c the premiums doubled. long story short, we still have no insurance. my son had a gunky eye last night, and this morning it is still gunky and slightly swollen and reddish. i'm sure you're all thinking "pink eye", which, i am too. my question is, will this go away? i know it's highly contagious and we have kept him home from daycare. but i have had this before and all they did was give me some eye drops and it was fine. is it worth it? just wondering. we'll probably take him to the walgreens walk in if it's still yucky this evening.

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update - i have done a little looking online and am finding a lot of support for using tea bags as a compress to withdraw the infection. has anyone ever used this? there seem to be tons of homeopathic remedies for pink eye...i am interested in trying them...in fact i have the tea bag seeping as we speak. any thoughts?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

thank you so much ladies, you are such a help! the eye cleared up in about 48 hours using the camomile tea, however, it did turn into a cold. just a sore throat and kind of a runny nose, nothing major, but like i said in my question, i am not opposed to taking him to a walk in clinic if he gets bad. i think part of this is also me transitioning from a first time mom of a baby, to a more confidant mom of a kid. he's a very robust and healthy three year old, so every little thing doesn't need to be rushed to the dr. at least that's what i'm finding. anyway i'll quit rambling, thank you so much for all your advice. i also ordered a book of home remedies for children, off amazon.com for .99! can't wait to get it!

Featured Answers

My mom always uses saline solution (like what you buy for contacts). Just rinse the eyes with it a few times a day. Works every time!

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I've read the responses, they are good ones. One more note though, if it doesn't go away...my daughter gets pink eye at least once a year. A couple of years ago I couldn't get her to her doctor out of town so I called my eye doctor and asked him to call me something in, knowing that's what it had to be b/c she gets it all the time, it's always the same. He insisted he needed to see her so I took her in and, tho the symptoms were the same, she had a tiny piece of straw in her eye that couldn't be seen that was causing the infection that time. So if it doesn't go away with any of these tips try to get him in to see someone.

1 mom found this helpful

This is not medical advice but I get pink eye frequently and long ago quit treating it; it always goes away on its own.

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Have I got a trick for you! Yes, this will sound crazy, but it works. Two Christmases ago both of my kids came down with pink eye (they are inseparable, so one got it and shared). I couldn't get them to a doc (closed for Christmas), and really don't like putting too many medicines in their bodies, so I wanted to find a home remedy to try until I could get them to the doc if I had to. The trick is Chamomile tea bags. Put some very hot water in a cup and soak the tea bag for a couple of minutes. Take it out and lay it on a paper towel to cool down a bit. When the bag is cool enough to hold in your hand comfortably squeeze a couple of small drops into the infected eye then lay the tea bag on the eye (like women do with cucumbers) for about 15 minutes. Repeat this process when your son's eye feels irritated again, it could be a few hours or so. After a few days the pink eye will go away. This worked like a charm for me and I now keep a box of chamomile tea bags on hand. Good luck

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Walgreens offers free healthcare for those who are uninsured. Read more about it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/31/walgreen-free-ca.... Also, if you have CVS's in KS, you they will take competitors coupons, so even if you get seen at Walgreens, you don not have to fill your prescription there. Use a coupon and take it to CVS. I usually get $25.00 back for every perscription I fill (but I have insurance), but still $25.00 is $25.00.

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I have heard of the tea bags working.
I have also seen this stuff at Wal-mart that is natural. It is for
pink eye. I used it on my granddaughter and it worked great!
My best to you and don't worry about dropping the insurance.
We totally understand. It is so expensive. There is always the
Health Clinic as well.
God bless and take care!!

1 mom found this helpful

I believe there is also a walmart prescription list that includes most basic medications for $5. no insurance required, and cheaper than the co-pay on most insurance. and you could probably call up any walk in clinic and tell them you don't have ins. and see what they'd charge for a drs visit, I bet it wouldn't be much. although, probably not necessary this time, just FYI for next time.

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I have a sister who works with an eye doctor and when my kids had come down with "pink eye" she told me to put baby shampoo on a cotton ball, and clean the eye lids with this mixture. (Use baby shampoo so that it doesn't sting the eye!) All pink eye is really is a bad eye cold. I have done this with my twins and it works!!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It may actually be conjunctivitis instead of pink eye. Either way you should take him into your county clinic. You'll just have to pay a co-pay...regardless of whether you have insurance or not. The infection could get worse if left untreated.

1 mom found this helpful

This is not medical advice but I get pink eye frequently and long ago quit treating it; it always goes away on its own.

1 mom found this helpful

I am in the same boat. We have no insurance...my daughter had the same thing and I had to take her yesterday. Tell them that you are a cash pay and they might give a discount. My daughter ended up not having pink eye but it's a viral thing and they did give drops. They were 43 bucks and the visit cost me 55. They had told me 75 at first.
So, you can try home remedies first...and if it doesn't work I would suck it up and take your child to the doctor.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry, I have not tried the tea bags. I have 2 books on home remedies, 1 is specifically for kids, I LOVE it and it hasn't steered me wrong yet. Here is what it says; Keep your child's eyes free from crust and pus. Wash the eyes every 1-2 hrs while awake. Use warm, wet cotton balls. Use new cotton balls each time, 1 for each eye. Soak off dry crust with warm water, be careful not to scratch the eyes. Put a cool, wet cloth over the eyes to help with itching.
It does spread easy. Make sure you both wash your hands frequently, do not let him touch his eyes, do not share towels or washrags.
You should see a doctor if; your child has blurred or loss of vision, red eyelids, yellow or green crust or pus around the eyes, or the pupils are not the same size. Doctor will give eyedrops that will need to be used until he wakes up crust-free 2 mornings in a row.
The other book mentions a lot of the same, but here is a little extra advice form it; It should usually go away on it's own in about a week. If it doesn't get any better within 5 days see a doctor. For itching, in addition to cold compress, can use antihistamine (like benedryl). Good luck & hope he gets better soon :-) I had it once as a teenager & just kept it clean with water & it went away in about 4 days.

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I wouldn't suggest the ER as some have said. Yes, they will accept you, BUT, it costs a fortune and you still have to pay, regardless of what others believe. I would try the homeopathic way, as others have said. I personally don't think pink eye is that big of a deal, and will usually clear up on its own. You could try calling Ask a Nurse and see what they suggest.

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Colloidal silver (clear liquid - like water) can be dropped into the eye. It clears up the infection very quickly and is very soothing. Even just wiping the eyelashes with a Q-tip or cotton ball dipped in it will help. You can find it at any health food store. Our MD recommended the brand ASAP Health Max 30. Also Visine A is an over the counter antihistimine for the eye. The prescription version has been prescribed for my pink eye in the past. It helps relieve the itching. I don't know if it's appropriate for the age of your child. It does burn a little - so you might try it on your own eye first to have an idea of the strength.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom always uses saline solution (like what you buy for contacts). Just rinse the eyes with it a few times a day. Works every time!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

I'm guessing you may have already gone to Walgreens. Good idea. Here's some website suggestions:

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/slideshow-pinkeye?ecd=ppc...

http://www.eyecarebasics.com/eye-care-articles/cure-for-p...

Good luck,
: ) M.

1 mom found this helpful

I would ask the pharmacist if there is something. The pharmacists at Walgreens are always wonderful. If you can, call the doctor and ask to establish a payment setup if you have no insurance. Nowadays there are many doctors willing to do that. Go to the board of Health in your area (call them first). They have sliding fees, programs, etc. for people in our state.
Another thing we did w/out insurance is a program called Ameriplan.Look up their website! It is a certain amount a month, family was thirty something a month and they are not insurance but a discount program. Just dental was 19 something a month, but the health one including dental was worth having for the thirty something a month. A lot different than for the six hundred a month or so they take out of my checks now for regular insurance. Ameriplan or any companies like that help you get visits, etc. for a smaller payment. But you do have to pay when you go. It was very good. But for the grace of God I actually got a job last year right before my son was hospitalized and I had cancer.For parents with older children and little or no insurance, get sports insurance or school insurance. The insurance paid most of both of our hospital visits last year, but we are lucky we have insurance now. Well, there is my litany. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I've read the responses, they are good ones. One more note though, if it doesn't go away...my daughter gets pink eye at least once a year. A couple of years ago I couldn't get her to her doctor out of town so I called my eye doctor and asked him to call me something in, knowing that's what it had to be b/c she gets it all the time, it's always the same. He insisted he needed to see her so I took her in and, tho the symptoms were the same, she had a tiny piece of straw in her eye that couldn't be seen that was causing the infection that time. So if it doesn't go away with any of these tips try to get him in to see someone.

1 mom found this helpful

I know all about not having insurance. It is quite frustrating. I have been hearing that many doctors will charge you way less, if you don't have insurance. My husband and I don't, due to job loss, and I found out my doctor will charge only $40 a visit. Now I'd have to deal with other places if tests are run, but I have done that and had to make payments and had either part of the bill or the entire bill written off. Talk to the docs office and other medical offices if need be, I know it is a pain but you may get help.
I am all about trying homeopathic remedies that others have tried and have worked. I'd say try the tea bags. It couldn't hurt. I hope this clears up quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

If its viral conjunctivitis it will go away within a few days on its own, if its bacterial you usually need atibiotics, but it could probably clear up on its own. The teabag will help with discomfort. I think you can tell the difference by whether the whites of his eye are bloodshot, that usually is bacterial I think (you should look that up online). I think you could wait and see if it gets better on its own, I would give it maybe 2-3 days, although if he's a baby you may want to get medecine sooner because I think pink eye can be worse for babies and affect their vision.

Unfortunately if it is Pink Eye is needs antibiotics and there is no way around it (those eye drops are the antibiotics). If no one in your family has insurance I would keep a good eye on it and lots of hand-washing because the more people that get it the more expensive it will be to treat.

Whenever we have pink eye here, we use colloidal silver on a cotton ball and rub it over the closed eyelid. It is very soothing. Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic that you cannot become immune to (like with pharma antibiotics, where you have to keep upping the strength and changing brands). It works great, and we've never had to do anything beyond this. I've also heard of the teabag compress, and that it works too, but I have never tried it.

Talk to the outpatient services at your local hospital. Most states have health care programs that do not break the bank. And you might want to get medicade just for you kid. If it does not go away in a couple of days it indeed will be bacteria and require drops. But I've heard about tbags helping to ease the discomfort as well.

I'm not sure if it will go away if left untreated , when my kids have had pink eye I've had to get drops and have not been able to do this without a prescription from the doctor , however I would give the tea bag a go , I used to get a lot of sty's when I was a kid and my mum always made me sit with a tea bag on my eye and it worked , try it as it can't do any harm.

Some drug stores have walk in clinics like CVS, they treat Pink eye there for cash payment.

So I know you have your answer, but whenever you go to a doctor's office without insurance, make sure that you tell them that you are without. They always have a cheaper rate for the non-insurance people, and they will often work with you on payments as well. My husband and I have also been in the lacking in the insurance department, and my suggestion for you is to look into short-term health care coverage. It usually only costs about $40 a month per person (they may have a family deal, I don't know), and while it doesn't cover doctor's visits, it will cover those God forbid situations. If you need any more info, let me know...insurance has become my love/hate relationship for the past year!

Pink Eye will clear up on it's on in about 7 to 10 days. A doctor will tell you that if you push the issue. Pink Eye can be either viral or bacterial and antibiotics only works on a bacterial problem plus they will compromise your little one's immune system. The tea bag is a good idea for comfort but if you want to speed the recovery, one drop of colloidal silver in the eye will heal. I have heard of people getting rid of their Pink Eye in less than 6 hours with the silver treatment.

Colloidal silver was used for MANY things, by physicians, before the onslaught of chemical and pharmaceutical companies. You can find it at any health store.

Regards,

M.

I just listened to a great podcast last week about pink eye - it was from the doctor's quick and dirty tips and it was very interesting! The doctor kept saying over and over "it's only pink eye" - and 90% of the time it's caused by a virus. Other than itchiness and redness, there is no harm caused by it. Doctors tend to give us the antibiotic drops in the chance that we have the rarer bacterial form (and our natural tendancy to want a quick fix for everything), but the really don't do much.

He said, use a tissue to wipe the gunk away, wash hands after every time the eye is touched, and don't worry about it. While yes, it's contagious, "it's just pink eye." No one is going to go blind from it or die from it.

I'm pregnant right now and got it a few months back. I just kept wiping the gunk out with a hot washrag (as hot as I could tolerate), and it cleared up in a few days. Keep washing his hands and yours, and it should be fine. Save your money!

The tea bag was wonderful for removing pain and itching while on, but did nothing for the infection, unfortunately those drops are antibiotics, I would go to the Walgreen's clinic, get the drops and then make sure to wash pillowcases, etc he's laid his face on or it will be back (my big mistake). Good luck and sorry about situation!!

Pink eye usually need antibiotic eye drops. It is highly contagious. You can get more information about pink eye on WebMD. You do need to wash all linens that the pink eye came in contact with and also wipe down all surfaces that the child could have touched. The eye drops help to make the pink eye not contagious I believe in about 24 hours. I would find a way to get health insurance as soon as you can. It is risky not to have it. Your child may develop a cough and if the child is old enough and the doctor approves honey helps coughs more than cough medicine. I don't think children under one years old can have honey but pls check with the doctor.

I wo

Hi,

I haven't read all the other posts, so I might be repeating someone! I have used triple antibiotic ointment in my and my children's eyes many times to treat simple eye infections. You can use the Walmart (Equate, I think) brand that is similar to Neosporin. I don't use the kind that has any painkiller in it. The tricky part is getting it in the eye and you will probably need dad's help if your little guy is wiggly! I put the ointment on a Qtip and then apply it inside either the upper or lower lid (I find that the lower is usually easier). Sometimes the tearing action of the eye makes it come right back out so you have to do it again till it actually sticks to the cornea.

Some people are allergic to BNP (triple antibiotic) ointment but if you have safely used it to treat your little guy's cuts and scrapes, you could give it a try.

This method has sure saved us from having to go to the doctor quite a few times!

God Bless,
A.

Hi,
although I never tried it I do hear that the tea bags do help a lot. So go on and try that. Worse case scenario, you can take him to the emergency room. But I think you will be fine :)

My pediatrician said that it will generally clear up on its own.My daughter had this a lot. I generally had to take her in because she would not keep her hands off her face and would spread it to the other eye and I couldn't get it cleared up.

No one is ever turned away for the inability to pay at a hospital emeregency room or hospital clinic. Pediatric divisions are very good in these cases. Get her there!

No advice about the pink eye. Other than its highly contagious.

I would suggest looking into to find a low-cost community clinic for your future health care. If you can establish a medical home with them they often have great rates. I would also suggest looking into Healthwave for you child(ren). Its thru the state of Kansas and help cover their medical cost. You can find information on the state website.

Try the similisan homeopathic eye drops for pink eye (walmart) they really have seemed to work. You only need the antibiotics if it gets a bacterial infection.....

I would get it checked out at a walk in clinic. I don't know what insurance you were on, but my husband sells Humana & Coventry, so if you'd like a rate quote email him at ____@____.com. Might be worth shopping around instead of going without.

C.

I don't know if there are any serious side effects from pink eye, but I do know what it's like not to have health insurance. I would scrape up the money for the initial doctor's visit, and worry about any extra billing later. Your child's health is worth more than any medical bill you may be saddled with, or a bad credit report.

You might qualify for a medical card from the State for your child. If you are working you won't but he could.

Here are 2 links to getting medical card assistance in Kansas, I understand, we are living on SSI, myhusband gets SSI, the kids get medical cards, and I get nothing. I can't qualify for medical help because we make too much money. It stinks.
http://www.ltcva.net/news/kansas-medicaid-program-eligibi...
http://www.khpa.ks.gov/healthwave/download/Fact_Sheet_Spe...

Pink eye will eventually clear on it's own, but it's contagious the entire time you have it. If you buy the eyedrops without insurance, it'll run you around 60 bucks. I don't know about home remedies, but I've been told several times that without the drops, it'll run it's course in 7-14 days.
And my own tip - Do NOT use the same washcloth twice and have your son wash his hands anytime his hands go near his face or you'll have this forever!

Good luck!

You can also try and cold teabag on his eye. It normally draws the infection out. As well the antibiotic polysporin can be used. There are many gel products for eye infection. Just ask your pharmacist.
Pink eye is contagious so be sure to clean your son's eye with a cloth and warm water, wipe from the inside out. Do this about 3-4 times a day.
Good luck, hopefully its just an infection in the eye.

I would look into the clinics offered at Walgreens or CVS. I believe your son would see an RN and the cost I've heard is very affordable and it certainly beats waiting hours at the ER.

First off it may not be pink eye. I had similar, my sister did, my grandson did, a friend did, none of which I am around and it is everywhere right now. I went to an eye doctor and he said it is bacteria and gave me antibiotic/steriod drops, onintment and those liquid tears. It's still not completely gone after all this. I think it's something going around and it may, or may not, be pink eye with your son. Mine was red, itching, swollen, watering, stuck at night with stuff and sounds like what he has. Here's what they told me. Put hot washcloth on it for 5 minutes morning and might as hot as you can stand it without burning. Then take a Q-tip dipped in Johnson baby shampoo ( diluted in water some ) and scrub the lashes with that without getting it all in the eyes. Rinse and then put the drops in. If you can get some eye drops from some doctor. They gave me what everyone else I talk to is on. It's called Tobramycin. I don't know if there is any over the counter medicine you could get with antibiotic and steriod in them, doubt it. I hope you find a doctor or clinic soon as this won't go away on it's own, I tried that. I know of at least 2 kids with it plus so far 5 adults so it's out there. If it is pink eye it still needs treated so please find a clinic or see what a doctor would charge you without insurance just to give you something for it. Tell them your situation. I saw an eye doctor for mine and my grandson saw a regular doctor and they both gave this same medication.

My son used to get pink eye a few times a year. I would just call the doctor's office and ask a nurse to ask his doctor to just call in the drops for it. I never got turned down, and it saved me an office visit. I just said that he'd had it a few times before. Just have them phone it in to a place like Walmart or Meijer where the prescriptions are much much cheaper

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