Thursday, March 27, 2008
Health: Eye care, conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is an eye problem that usually surfaces with the onset of summer. It is also called ‘sore eye’, ‘red eye’ and ‘pink eye’. The condition is an inflammation of the tissue known as conjunctiva that lines the inside of the eyelid. The common cause is viral or bacterial infection. The offending organism travels though the air and spreads by body contact.
The usual symptoms include redness of the eye, watering from the eye, blurring of vision, discharge from the eye and increase in sensitivity to light. Some of these indications and irritation could be caused also by allergic conditions and by contact with irritants like chemicals.
Conjunctivitis normally lasts about a week. It is highly contagious and affected persons are advised to stay at home till the problem subsides. Wearing dark glasses during an attack of conjunctivitis is recommended because it would reduce the glare and make the patient feel more comfortable. However there is hardly any chance of catching the disease by looking at the eyes of a person who has conjunctivitis.
Hygiene is very important in preventing the spread of conjunctivitis. A person with conjunctivitis should avoid touching his eyes and always keep his hands clean. Do not shake hands. Avoid body contacts. Do not share towels, soap, dresses, cosmetics etc.
If a person contacts conjunctivitis, other members of the family should use preventive eye drops suggested by a competent doctor to protect themselves from the infection.
And most important – (1) do not try self medication or wait out seven days for conjunctivitis to run its course, (2) do not depend on medication suggested by the local chemist, and, (3) always consult a doctor and follow his instruction.
Please understand that this is only a layman’s understanding of conjunctivitis. It is posted as a reminder that the season for conjunctivitis is on so that you would be alert to the problem.
Also see: Health: Slipped Disc (Prolapsed Disc)