With heavy rainfall reported in different parts of India, it seems like the rain gods are working overtime this year. Heavy rain showers are accompanied by a sudden drop in the temperature which brings with it a host of health issues like fever, sore throat, skin infections and conjunctivitis (pink eye) to name a few.
Conjunctivitis also referred to as ‘Pink eye’ is caused when the membranes surrounding the eye balls are infected by a virus or bacteria. In certain cases foreign bodies & dust particles can also be blamed for triggering this particular kind of eye infection. There are 4 different kinds of Conjunctivitis namely – Allergic Conjunctivitis, Bacterial Conjunctivitis, Viral Conjunctivitis and Chemical Conjunctivitis. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious yet easily treatable while others are harder to control and could lead to serious outcomes, if left untreated. Watch out for these symptoms:
- Redness in the white portion of the eye
- Watery eyes
- Thick yellow discharge from the infected eye
- Itchy or burning sensation in the infected eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical advice at the earliest instead of opting for self medication which could prove to be detrimental to the eye health.
Moisture-laden air serves as the perfect breeding ground for the conjunctivitis virus hence maximum cases of conjunctivitis are reported during the rainy season. Those who have a weak immune system pose a higher risk of contracting this eye disease. Like most monsoon related illnesses, conjunctivitis too can be treated in multiple ways but as the famous saying goes – ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
Being contagious in nature, people living closely with a Conjunctivitis patient should take necessary precautions to prevent this virus from spreading. Here are a few preventive tips for the same:
- Maintain a high level of hygiene at home especially if one or more members of the family are suffering from conjunctivitis. Wash your bed sheets, pillowcases & towels in hot water and detergent to prevent spreading the infection. Use a good quality disinfectant to keep your home clean & free from germs
- Do not share personal belongings
- Always wash your hands thoroughly between regular intervals and avoid touching your face & eyes too often.
- Consume more of immune boosting foods. Green leafy vegetables and orange colored fruits contain beta carotene which helps in improving the immune system thereby minimizing the chances of contracting this eye infection.
- Opt for disposable tissues instead of handkerchiefs or towels to dab eyes. After use, do not throw these tissues on the floor or any area where they could be easily accessible to others.
- Avoid visiting crowded places. When outdoors, always cover up your eyes with sunglasses. Doing so will prevent the eyes from coming in contact with dust & foreign particles, which could trigger conjunctivitis at a later stage
- Avoid wearing & sharing eye make-up and/or contact lenses