Monsoon brings much-needed relief from the scorching heat, but it also brings a host of seasonal health challenges. Among these is conjunctivitis, a common eye infection that can cause discomfort and irritation. As the rainy season approaches, experts are advising the public on how to safeguard their eyes and prevent conjunctivitis from dampening their spirits.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye,” is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. It can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, allergens, or irritants. Rainy weather creates an ideal environment for the spread of this eye infection, making preventive measures essential.
1. Frequent Handwashing: Keeping hands clean is the first line of defense against conjunctivitis. Touching contaminated surfaces and then rubbing the eyes can transfer the infection. Regularly wash hands with soap and water, especially after coming in contact with public surfaces or after coughing and sneezing.
2. Avoid Touching Eyes: Refrain from touching or rubbing your eyes, as this can introduce germs and irritants that lead to conjunctivitis.
3. Use Clean Towels and Linens: Use clean towels, pillowcases, and handkerchiefs to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid sharing personal items that come into contact with the eyes.
4. Keep Surroundings Clean: Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and computer keyboards.
5. Proper Eye Hygiene: If you wear contact lenses, maintain good hygiene practices. Disinfect lenses regularly, avoid wearing them while swimming, and replace them as recommended by your eye care professional.
6. Avoid Eye Irritants: Stay away from smoke, dust, and other irritants that can trigger conjunctivitis symptoms.
7. Use Eye Protection: Wearing sunglasses or protective eyewear can shield the eyes from rainwater, debris, and potential irritants.
8. Seek Medical Attention: If you experience redness, itching, discharge, or other eye discomfort, consult an eye care specialist promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of infection.
Expert Advice for Keeping Conjunctivitis at Bay this Rainy Season
Dr Prashaant Chaudhry, an ophthalmologist at Aakash Healthcare, said that this year’s infection appears to be more virulent, with most major government and private hospitals reporting 15-20 cases daily, which is three times higher than the average number of cases.
“This time around the infection has been more severe, associated with membrane formation and also haemorrhages (blood spots),” said Dr Prashaant Chaudhry.
Simple measures, such as proper hand hygiene, avoiding eye rubbing, and using clean towels, can go a long way in protecting your eyes.”
By following these preventive measures, individuals can safeguard their eyes during the monsoon season and enjoy the rainy weather without the discomfort of conjunctivitis. Stay informed, stay safe, and ensure that your eyes are well-protected this monsoon!