Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Common Eye Infections during Monsoons

woman with sunglassesEye infections increase during the wet months of monsoon. As a result you confront colleagues, neighbours, and many more who wear dark shades, as they have contracted the eye infection. The common eye infections in this season are  conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. 

Dr. Anita Sethi, Head of Opthalmology at Artemis Health Institute Gurgaon tells more…

Conjunctivitis

 Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the eyeball). This eye ailment is quite common during monsoons. Just like viral fever this infection is contagious.This is characterised by an acute onset of a red, watery eye. It may be accompanied by pain and discharge and usually starts in one eye and spreads to the other as the secretions are contagious.

Symptoms
Patient may complain of a gritty feeling as if something has fallen in the eye. There may be blood clots visible around the cornea (central dark area) and in case it spreads to the cornea the patient may have symptoms such as intolerance to light (Photophobia), glare, pain and may see coloured haloes around lights.


Cause

It is usually occurs due to a viral infection and may be preceded by fever. Though it typically lasts for a week, occasionally it may continue up to 14 days.

Treatment:
• Course of antibiotic eye drops, there is usually no need for systemic antibiotics
• Lubricant eye drops.
• Visit the ophthalmologist for examination as occasionally there can be sight-threatening complications.
• The secretions are contagious so the patient needs to be careful and use separate towels, bed sheets etc.

Prevention:

 Conjunctivitis is spread by transfer of the secretions from an infected person. One must maintain hygiene and avoid touching the eyes.

Corneal Ulcers

 Corneal ulcer is an infection (usually bacterial) of the cornea. There is an increased incidence of corneal ulcers in this season, especially in contact lens wearers and those with an interest in gardening.

 Symptoms

This is characterized by a sudden onset of pain, redness, watering and photophobia in one eye . 

Treatment

This can be serious if not treated immediately, so a visit to the ophthalmologist is mandatory for anyone with the above symptoms.

  • Contact lenses should be stopped at once.
  • Treatment is with antibiotics and depends on the severity of the condition.

 General tips for protecting the eyes:

  • Wear sun-glasses with UV protection screen whenever outdoors to shield your eyes from harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays which cause damage to the eyes, even on cloudy days. UV rays are also contributory factors for conditions like cataract and age related loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. An important point to note is that it isn’t necessary for the glasses to be completely black to be effective, all colours offer equally good protection, especially if they are branded products.

 

  • Wash eyes with plain water after a swim and wear swimming goggles to prevent chlorine water from damaging the eyes.

 

Eyes are precious. If you contract an infection, avoid home remedies because they can damage the eyes, instead consult an eye doctor

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Category: Eye Care / Monsoon
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