Monday, July 22, 2024

Keeping an eye on the pink eye

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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, popularly known as pinkeye. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids and lies over the white area of the eye.

Conjunctivitis is the most common type of red eye. It is most often caused by a viral or bacterial infection, although allergic conjunctivitis, characterized by mild to severe itching, is also common, as is “dry eye” secondary to collagen vascular disease or the use of diuretics, antidepressants or contact lenses.

For the past few days, there has been a concerning outbreak of conjunctivitis cases in the country, especially among children, raising concerns about monsoon-related diseases. “As the cases are increasing it is very important to take the right medication to treat this viral eye infection correctly,” says Dr. Venkata Prabhakar, Consultant – Cornea, Cataract, Refractive Surgery, Sankara Eye Hospital Hyderabad.

What are the medications used for Conjunctivitis?

Lubricating Eye drops
Lubricating eye drops can help alleviate discomfort, redness, and dryness associated with conjunctivitis. They provide relief and promote faster healing.

Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are prescribed to fight the infection. It is crucial to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your Ophthalmologist.
Keeping the seriousness of the infection in mind, it is highly advisable to always consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicine as the dosage might vary from person to person and a doctor’s guidance is essential to ensure effective and safe treatment.

Precautions to take while putting the Eye Drop:
– Wash your hands before putting the eye- drop.
– Make sure that the tip of the dropper doesn’t touch any part of the eyes.
– If there is more than one drop wait for 5 minutes before putting the next drop.
– Sharing of eye drops is not advisable.

Why this sudden rise in viral eye infections?
There has been a 70% rise of eye infections over the last 2-3 weeks across the country. The recent spell of rain and the resulting floods have exacerbated the sanitation issues. This is causing an escalation in viral and bacterial diseases. At present the outbreak of Conjunctivitis is due to virus (Adenoviris).

“It is essential to maintain cleanliness and be very cautious when it comes to eyes. Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious. It is primarily transmitted through direct contact with the eye secretions of an infected person, but you can also get infected if you touch your eye after touching a contaminated surface like doorknobs, door handles or bathroom sinks. However, taking proper care and following the doctor’s recommendations can prevent its spread with no long-term problems,” adds Dr. Prabhakar.

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