Eyeing one's safety

Last Updated 23 September 2010, 14:18 IST

Are your eyes are red, itchy or watery? If yes, then go to an eye doctor immediately.

That’s because conjunctivitis or pink eye, is spreading across the City like wild fire. In order to be safe than sorry, it’s important to keep certain simple things in mind. Metrolife spoke to a few people to find out the precautions they are taking for themselves and their families and lists out some simple points for you to keep in mind.

Rachel, an employee of United Breweries Limited, is extremely careful these days. As it’s not just she who has had an eye infection, but her little son Bradlee has it too.

Thankfully, it’s not conjunctivitis. “It’s an infection of the eyelid that comes once in a while. I was on drops for about five days and now I am using an eye ointment for a month,” she informs.

“Even for my son Bradlee, it’s an infection that comes on and off. It is a problem that can arise with boys his age and he has to go on drops when it starts. The doctor did say that during this season, he may get it.” So Rachel takes a lot of precautions, especially when it comes to Bradlee.

 “We make him wash his hands, eyes and face whenever he plays. And he has to use separate towels and napkins.” 

Vidya, a home-maker, is also very careful about the health of her family members and ensures they maintain personal hygiene. “I keep my home and surroundings clean and make sure that everyone washes their hands, and uses eye drops in case they get an infection.” She adds, “Not just that, it’s very important to ensure that you don’t mingle with people infected with conjunctivitis.”

Dr Anil Wani, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Manipal Hospital, says conjunctivitis is similar to a flu or an epidemic.

 “You can call it a flu in the eye. It’s generally caused by frequent fluctuations in temperature,” describes the doctor, who runs a clinic called Manas Eye Clinic.
Though there are different types of conjunctivitis like bacterial, viral and allergic, it is viral conjunctivitis that’s in the air in the City.  Dr Anil admits he has been treating around 20 patients a day in the hospital.  “Viruses cannot be treated as they follow a cycle. So they have to settle down and finish the cycle,” he informs.

This cycle spans over five or six days, he says. “That’s why we give antibiotics to prevent the infection from becoming more severe.”

His advice for people is to maintain hygiene. “Wash your hands especially before putting the drops. Your napkins, handkerchiefs and towels should be clean and should not be shared. Don’t go to crowded places if you are infected.”

He adds, “One major problem is that once the patients start feeling better, they stop taking the drops. My advice to them is to take the medicine for the prescribed amount of time. Once that time is over, go to your doctor again just to be safe.”

Tips to avoid eye infection

*Wash your hands, eyes and face regularly.

*Use clean handkerchiefs, napkins and towels. Don’t share them with anyone.

*If your eyes are red and watery, consult your doctor immediately.

*Stay at home if you are infected.

*While applying eye drops, make sure your hands are clean.

*Don’t go to crowded places to prevent the infection from spreading.

*Don’t stop taking the drops once you start feeling better. Apply the drops for the entire period of time that has been prescribed by your doctor. 

(Published 23 September 2010, 14:09 IST)

Follow us on