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Avoid self-medication for Madras eye; consult doctor

Opthamologist warns Chennaiites about rise in conjunctivitis as many tertiary hospitals have reported a number of cases.

Published: 02nd June 2016 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2016 08:49 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Is your eye turning red and watery,  combined with irritation? Its time to consult your ophthalmologist! Dog days might have come to an end, but not the proliferation of ‘Adenovirus’ that spread  eye conjunctivitis or Madras Eye that is  active in this season.

With cases of conjunctivitis having been reported in major hospitals in the city, doctors say, the numbers might further increase in the coming weeks. Though the conjunctivitis is a viral infection, it can manifest as a secondary bacterial infections and hence, self-medication is not advisable and the affected person should approach the eye doctor, says Dr Triveni Venkatesh, ophthalmologist, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital. “There have been reports of more cases now. I have been treating 5-6 cases a day for the past two weeks,” said Dr Triveni.

Usually, people go to nearby clinics for treatment, and we do not see manycases of conjunctivitis. But the rising incidence of this eye infection reported in tertiary hospitals for the past few days can be an indication of a spurt in the conjunctivitis cases. In the coming days, the cases might further increase, warns Dr Triveni.

Usually the cornea is affected bythis infection and there may be a drop in the eye vision and patients become sensitive to light. Hence, it is better to consult an ophthalmologist if there is prolonged watering and irritation of the eye, he says. The bacterial infection would have thick white discharge from the eye and a little swelling can also be seen.

Those with conjunctivitis would have difficulty in opening the eyes and antibiotics  would help in the eye lubrication, informs the doctor. The infection of the eye will become severe if the person continuously rubs the eyes. People should avoid contact lens as while removing it, the cornea may suffer a wound which is risky.

As assumed by many that  the infection spreads by coming in contact with the eye is a myth. Instead any contact with the discharge from the eye may be risky. Using separate pillows and covers is advisable for people with conjunctivitis. Wearing goggles and to avoid going to crowded places may help to a great extent. If the children are affected by the eye infection, better not to send them to school. Again, its a viral infection and has got nothing to do with body heat as generally believed, adds Dr Triveni.

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