Stay Vigilant of the Early Stage Pink Eye Symptoms This Monsoon

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Stay Vigilant of the Early Stage Pink Eye Symptoms This Monsoon

The monsoon is a season of mixed experiences– humidity, heat, rain, water logging, and last but not least, infections! The season of breeding for the microscopic life around us has begun and brought along Conjunctivitis (Red Eye). The surge in cases of conjunctivitis has taken an enormous leap in India lately, with approximately 100 cases reported daily. According to health experts, an upsurge in conjunctivitis is often observed during the monsoon, but this year it has spread massively due to continuous heavy rains and floods nationwide.

This article will give you elaborate information about conjunctivitis that you can’t miss. Read on to learn how you can stay protected during this monsoon.

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines the eyelids and the eyeball. The membrane is called the conjunctiva. Small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become more noticeable as they become inflamed and irritated. This is what gives the whites of the eyes a crimson or pink appearance. 

A viral infection is the most common cause of pink eye. It can also be caused by a bacterial infection, an allergic reaction, or an incompletely opened tear duct in newborns. Though pink eye might be bothersome, it has the rarest chance of impairing your eyesight. To alleviate eye pain and headache, one has to consult an eye specialist immediately, as pink eye is infectious, and receiving a diagnosis early and following precautions might help restrict its spread.

Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Conjuctivitis causes extreme discomfort in the eye. The following are the most prevalent red eye symptoms people have been experiencing:

  • One or both eyes are red/pink
  • Itching in either one or both eyes
  • A sand-like sensation in one or both eyes
  • A discharge in one or both eyes creates a crust overnight, preventing your eye(s) from opening in the morning
  • Continuous tears in the eyes
  • Photophobia or light sensitivity

What are the Causes of Red Eye?

Conjunctivitis develops pink or reddish when the blood vessels in the membrane covering your eye (the conjunctiva) become irritated, making them more noticeable. Inflammation can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Viruses- Virus such as adenovirus cause is one of the reasons of red eye.
  • Bacteria- Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are common microorganisms that cause bacterial conjunctivitis.
  • Allergens- This includes moulds, pollen, and other allergenic compounds.
  • Irritable Substances- Shampoos, cosmetics, contact lenses, grime, smoking, and pool chlorine may irritate eyes resulting in pink eye.

If you get conjunctivitis due to bacteria, you're contagious for the duration of your symptoms or around 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotic therapy.

When you have pink eye caused by a virus, you are infectious for as long as you have symptoms (typically several days). Pink eye can also be transferred before any symptoms appear.

Is Conjunctivitis Contagious?

Pink eye caused by bacteria or viruses, is highly infectious (easily communicable from one person to another). You can have pink eyes before you realise you have them due to touching your face or eyes with hands that probably have a virus already. However, red eye caused by allergies is not contagious.

What is the Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis?

The diagnosis of conjunctivitis is based on the examination by the eye specialist. However, red eye treatment includes anti-inflammatory, anti-biotics and eye drops for itching and redness. The doctor advises a light cold compress on the eyes with a wet cloth along with the medications. There is also a belief that wearing sunglasses and not contact with the infected person can curb the spread of infection. However, doctors say it is a myth as the pink eye doesn’t spread by looking into anyone’s infected eyes.

How to Prevent Conjunctivitis?

If you have pink eye, your doctor may advise you to avoid going to work, school or nursery until you are no longer contagious. Check with your doctor to see how long that is likely to be. You're less likely to transfer the illness if you've been taking antibiotics for 24 hours or no longer have symptoms. Below are the prevention tips that you can follow-

  • Maintaining good general hygiene and eye care practices can also aid in the prevention of pink eye.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing the eye(s).
  • Hands should be washed often with soap and water.
  • Use a new cotton ball to clean any discharge from your eyes twice a day. After using the cotton ball, wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Wash your hands after administering eye drops or ointment to your or someone else's eye.
  • Personal goods such as cosmetics, contact lenses, clothes and towels should not be shared.

Summing it Up!

Red eye disease is not a chronic condition as it is curable and preventative. It can subside on its own without treatment unless it is severe. The best thing you can do is take the required precautions to avoid transmitting pink eye to others or contracting it again. Always contact your healthcare practitioner if you have any questions or concerns and be watchful of conjunctivitis symptoms.

However, everyone’s only concern is that infection doesn’t spread to the point that it becomes severe and needs immediate hospitalisation. If you fear that and do not have health insurance in place, get one post-haste. Monsoon brings endless viruses such as dengue, malaria and many more infections that may require hospitalisation. That’s when you need the most promising health insurance plan by Care Health Insurance. It will come to your rescue and save you from shelling money out of your pocket.

>> Also Read: 10 Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Eyes

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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