Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the outer white layer of the eye, known as the sclera, and can lead to...
The recent wave of persistent rains in India has brought with it an unexpected consequence: a surge in cases of conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, in various states, including New Delhi
, Chandigarh, and Gujarat. As the country battles the monsoon rains, health experts are urging the public to take extra precautions to protect themselves from this highly contagious eye infection.
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the outer white layer of the eye, known as the sclera, and can lead to a distinct red or pink appearance of the eye. Dr. Dilip Gude, a senior consultant physician at Yashoda Hospitals in Hyderabad, explained that the infection is usually transmitted through autoinoculation, wherein infected hands or fingers come into contact with the eyes, as well as through aerosol spread.
One of the primary risk factors for developing conjunctivitis is being in crowded places, where people are in close proximity to one another. Dr. Saurabh Varshney, a senior consultant in ophthalmology at Primus Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi, emphasized that public transportation, schools, malls, and events are potential breeding grounds for the spread of conjunctivitis.
To safeguard against this eye infection, health experts recommend adopting the following precautionary measures:
Practice good hygiene: Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after touching the face or coming into contact with surfaces in public places. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with infected individuals: If you are aware that someone has conjunctivitis, maintain a safe distance from them to reduce the risk of transmission.
Do not share personal items: Avoid sharing towels, makeup, or any items that may come into contact with the eyes to prevent the spread of the infection.
Use hand sanitiser: When soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.
Wear glasses instead of contact lenses: During periods of increased risk, consider switching to glasses, as contact lens wear may increase the risk of infection and prolong recovery.
Avoid rubbing your eyes: Refrain from rubbing your eyes as it can further irritate them and potentially spread the infection to other parts of your eye or to others.
Stay home if you are infected: If you develop conjunctivitis, avoid going to crowded places, school, or work until your doctor advises it is safe to do so.
Follow medical advice: If you suspect you have conjunctivitis or experience symptoms such as redness, itching, burning, discharge, or excessive tearing in your eyes, seek medical advice promptly. Following your doctor’s instructions for treatment and hygiene is crucial to prevent further spread.