Red eyes on the rise as Monsoon triggers surge in Conjunctivitis
Doctors’ advise hygiene & isolation
Post by M Peerzada on Sunday, August 13, 2023
Srinagar, Aug 12:
Kashmir has recently witnessed a concerning surge in conjunctivitis cases flooding outpatient departments (OPDs) of local hospitals. In response, medical professionals are urging the public to prioritize hygiene and seek medical consultation before resorting to medication for the ailment.
Doctors attribute this year's rise in seasonal infections to the relentless monsoon and subsequent floods that have plagued the national capital, causing sanitation issues. The situation is exacerbated in Jammu and Kashmir, where the torrential rains this year have been pinpointed as the primary cause.
"To safeguard your eyes from infections today means ensuring your comfort for tomorrow. The most effective preventive measure against eye flu is meticulous hygiene and consistent handwashing," advised Dr Shah Amir Abbas, an Ophthalmologist from the J&K Health Department.
He said people need to keep hands away from eyes to keep eye flu at bay and visit an ophthalmologist as soon as they have any sign like irritation, redness or watering from eyes.
“Don’t share your face towels and don't share your eye drops. Stop using contact lenses till the flu season is over,” Dr Abass said.
As per doctors, conjunctivitis (also caused by viruses or bacteria) needs isolation to prevent spread, eye care and sometimes antibiotics under the guidance of ophthalmologist.
Head Department of Ophthalmology, Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, Prof. Sabia Rashid said conjunctivitis patients generally experience eyes turning red, feeling itchy and painful, and witnessing a watery or thicker discharge.
“Initially when the viral infection attacks a patient they face discomfort and eyes turn red. The infection spreads very quickly just like respiratory infections. It can also spread in crowded places and there is a need of precautionary measures,” Prof. Sabia said.
“The infection rarely affects vision and it recovers itself. Those who have been infected by it should consult doctors. It can be treated with eye drops and people should maintain precautions,” she said.
The doctor advised that people who have been infected should avoid close contact with other individuals so at to stop the spread.
“Conjunctivitis, the inflammation of conjunctiva is of many types and can be caused by bacteria, virus or allergy,” said Dr Suhail Naik, Senior Paediatrician Department of Paediatrics, GMC Srinagar.
He said that the ongoing epidemic of eye flu that is widespread nowadays is mostly acute viral infection, which is highly contagious and spreads like wild fire. “The eye flu self-limiting ailment and takes few days to resolve completely. The predominant symptoms range from redness, itchiness, stickiness in eyes and swollen eyelids,” Naik said.
He said children are more likely to get conjunctivitis, because they are more physically active than adults and stay in groups in school or buses.
“They also get their hands dirty frequently and are more likely to rub and touch their eyes which make them exposed to virus or bacteria high,” he said. The various measures which can prevent its spread are hand hygiene, avoid touching eyes proper use of tissues, keep personal belongings clean and maintain distance.