New Delhi: With heavy rain, leading to flooding in some regions, cases of conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye’, are on the rise in several parts of the country, including New Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Northeast states. While Vadodara in Gujarat reported 500 cases daily, Pune reported 2,300 cases within a span of five days. Amid the surge in cases, Delhi Police shared an advisory with a Bollywood twist. In a social media post, the Delhi Police shared a video graphic featuring black goggles and added the popular song ‘Kala Chashma’ in the background.
The graphic read, “To all those suffering from conjunctivitis, ‘Tennu kala chashma jachda ae, jachda ae tere mukhde pe’. Please wear glasses get well soon.”
Conjunctivitis is the swelling of the outer layering of the eye. The infection is prevalent during monsoon due to overflowing and flooding of the water systems and also humidity.
While the advisory is needed and laudable, it is important to note that black spectacles or goggles don’t curtail the spread of infection. According to experts, conjunctivitis patients should wear dark glasses to protect the eyes from light and dust.
In a blog, Narayana Health, a network of hospitals, clarified that
Using dark glasses to prevent it from spreading is not needed. With severe Conjunctivitis, however, if one finds the light too bright, one may use dark glasses temporarily.
Dr Kamal B Kapur, Director and Co-founder of Sharp Sigh Eye Hospitals also recommends wearing dark glasses to prevent aerosol infection.
Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Conjunctivitis symptoms include:
- Swelling of the conjunctiva (the thin layer that lines the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid) and/or eyelids
- Itching, irritation and burning sensation
- Increased tear production
- Crusting of eyelids or lashes, especially in the morning
Treatment For Conjunctivitis:
Conjunctivitis is usually a self-limiting disease. Experts recommend against any kind of self-medication or over-the-counter medicines on the advice of a pharmacist. First things first, do not touch your eyes.
Dr Navin Sakhuja, Ophthalmologist explained,
If you have got red, painful and watery eye, it will have to be supplemented with lubricants. Antibiotics are given as a cover to prevent other bacterial superadded infections which inevitably take place in viral conjunctivitis. It will run its course for 7-10 days. The chances of getting the other eye involved are very high. Do not use steroids until and unless you are completely medically supervised.
How To Prevent The Spread Or Transmission Of Conjunctivitis:
Dr Sakhuja opines that this year Conjunctivitis is highly infectious. If one person in the family gets the virus, the chances of other members of the house getting it increase.
Explaining the transmission of the infection, Dr Sakhuja categorically said that it doesn’t spread by looking at someone who has conjunctivitis. He added,
Conjunctivitis is spread by touch. For example, you have an infection and you touch a table in your house. Somebody else in the house touches the same table and decides to then touch their eye. It would instantly reach their eye.
Hygiene is the weak link in the transmission of the virus, said Dr Sakhuja. He recommends handwashing by one and all at frequent intervals to break the transmission of the virus from the eye to whatever material you may be touching.
Tip For Contact Lens Wearers:
Dr Anita Sethi, Director and Head of Department, Ophthalmology at Fortis Gurugram believes contact lens wearers are probably the most vulnerable population. She explained,
Lens and infection can lead to corneal complications which can be sight threatening. Please don’t wear contact lenses even if you have slight itching. Also, swimmers should be cautious and maybe avoid swimming as we are seeing a surge in cases of late.
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