As the monsoon season descends upon us, it heralds an increase in the prevalence of conjunctivitis. In recent times, Indian capital New Delhi has reported an alarming surge of approximately 100 new cases of conjunctivitis every day and similar reports are from various other northern states as well. In this scenario, it becomes crucial to be well-informed about preventive measures and prompt treatment to safeguard our eyes from this infection. Let’s take a look at how to prevent and treat conjunctivitis during monsoon.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye or red eye, can be a bothersome eye condition that often becomes more prevalent during the monsoon season due to increased humidity and waterborne pathogens. Whether viral or bacterial, conjunctivitis can cause discomfort, redness and itching of the eyes. However, with proper preventive measures and prompt treatment, you can protect your eyes from this condition and enjoy the monsoon season without worry.
Also read: Monsoon eye care: 10 tips to keep infections and irritation away
As Health Shots reached out to Dr Aparna Darshwal, HOD – Ophthalmology, Metro Hospital, Faridabad, she shared with us some tips to prevent and treat conjunctivitis during monsoon.
How to prevent conjunctivitis during monsoon?
1. Maintain Personal Hygiene
One of the most effective ways to prevent conjunctivitis is to maintain good personal hygiene. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, especially after touching communal objects, before eating, and after using the bathroom. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, as doing so can introduce bacteria and viruses that cause infections.
2. Keep Your Surroundings Clean
“Dust and allergens in your living and working spaces can exacerbate eye irritation,” says Dr Darshwal. Keep your surroundings clean and free from dust to reduce the risk of contracting conjunctivitis. Regularly dust and vacuum your home to minimize potential allergens.
3. Avoid Sharing Personal Items
Dr Darshwal explains that conjunctivitis can easily spread through contaminated personal items such as towels, hankies, eye makeup and contact lenses. Avoid sharing these items with others, even within your family, during the monsoon season.
4. Avoid Crowded Places
During the peak of the monsoon season, crowded places can become breeding grounds for infectious illnesses, including conjunctivitis. Try to stay away from heavily crowded areas to reduce the risk of exposure to infections.
5. Consume a Balanced Diet
A healthy diet rich in minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamin A, is beneficial for eye health. “Include green leafy vegetables, carrots, citrus fruits, and other nutrient-rich foods in your diet to support your eyes’ natural defense against such eye infections,” advises Dr Darshwal.
Also read: Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness and skin issues, know 4 foods to fight them
6. Stay Indoors During Heavy Rain
To minimize exposure to waterborne infections, try to stay indoors during heavy rain. If you must go outside, consider wearing protective eyewear like sunglasses to shield your eyes from dust and debris.
If you suspect you have conjunctivitis, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. But there are some things you must take care of till you see the doctor. Here are some tips to treat conjunctivitis during the monsoon.
How to treat conjunctivitis during monsoon?
1. Avoid Touching or Rubbing Your Eyes
Resist the temptation to rub your eyes, as this can worsen the condition and lead to the infection spreading to other areas of your face.
2. Warm Compresses
“Applying warm compresses over closed eyes can help reduce crusting and soothe discomfort associated with conjunctivitis,” says Dr Darshwal. Use a clean cloth soaked in warm water, and apply it gently for a few minutes.
Also read: Boric acid eye wash for conjunctivitis: Is it a safe and effective treatment?
3. Avoid Wearing Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, refrain from using them until your eyes have fully recovered. Contact lenses can trap bacteria and prolong the healing process.
4. Keep the area clean
To prevent further spread of the infection, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes. Avoid sharing towels and other personal items during the infection’s duration.
5. Consult a Doctor
Visit an ophthalmologist or healthcare professional to accurately diagnose the type of conjunctivitis and receive appropriate treatment. They may prescribe eye drops or ointments to alleviate symptoms and clear the eye infection.
If you experience any symptoms of conjunctivitis, consult a doctor promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. With proper care, you can protect your eyes from infections like pink eye and enjoy a pleasant monsoon season.