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Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis): Pink Eye, Causes, Symptoms & Preventions

What is Eye Flu ?

Eye flu, medically known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye condition that affects people of all ages. Conjunctivitis, also called “pink eye is an infection of the conjunctiva(the front white ‘skin’ of the eye). It is very common especially during rainy season. Eye fluid or conjunctivitis is a highly contagious eye infection. It is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer covering the white part of the eyes and the inner surface of the eyelids. Eye flu causes can be due to various factors, including viral or bacterial infections, allergies, or exposure to certain environmental irritants. this condition can be uncomfortable and bothersome, but with proper care and treatment, most cases of eye flu resolve without complications. Most cases are caused by common viruses – often the same ones that cause cough and colds. In some cases especially children, bacterial infections can also occur. In the vast majority of cases, infective conjunctivitis is not serious and clears within a week or so without leaving any permanent damage to the eye.

Why it is Spreading Recently ?

Due to incessant rains, floods and waterlogging, conjunctivitis cases have been on rise across the country . In fact, due to concerning rise in eye flu cases, schools in various cities have been shut for a few days. Conjunctivitis can cause redness, itchiness and discharge in eyes and one may feel it difficult to open the affected eye in the morning due to formation of a crust over it. The eyes may appear swollen and the person may experience sensitivity to light. Conjunctivitis is often caused by a viral or bacterial infection or allergy. However , it doesn’t affect your vision and after the disease has been treated or run its courses, the eyes get completely cured. Conjunctivitis spreads rapidly and can survive on surface like doorknobs, towel, tissues etc for long. It can also spreads fast in spaces which aren’t well ventillated. One should avoid touching surfaces after contact with their eyes when suffering from conjunctivities. Sharing of personal items is also not recommended when you have the eye infection.

Symptoms of Eye Flu ?

  • Redness and Irritation : One of the primary symptoms of flu in the eyes is redness and irritation of the eyes. The conjunctiva becomes inflamed, causing blood vessels in the eyes to dilate, giving the eyes a pink or red appearance. The eyes may feel scratchy, itchy, or like there is something in them. This redness and irritation are often more noticeable in the mornings or after periods of rest.
  • Watery Eyes : Excessive tear production, leading to watery eyes, is another common symptoms of flu in eyes. The main eye flu reason for watery eyes is the inflammation of the conjunctiva that can stimulate the tear glands, causing an overflow of tears. Watery eyes can lead to discomfort and blurred vision, making it challenging to perform daily activities.
  • Sensitivity to light : People with flu in eyes may experience photophobia, a condition where the eyes become sensitive to light. Exposure to bright light or sunlight can cause discomfort and pain in the eyes, leading individuals to squint or shield their eyes from light sources.
  • Discharge from the Eyes : A thick, sticky discharge from the eyes, especially upon walking up, is a characteristics symptom of bacterial conjunctivitis. This discharge is often yellow or greenish in color and can cause the eyelids to stick together. Viral conjunctivitis may also cause a watery or clear discharge from the eyes.
  • Swelling of Eyelids : Swelling of the eyelids is a possible symptoms of eye flu, especially when caused by allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis can lead to eyelid edema, making the eyes appear puffy and swollen.
  • Discomfort While Blinking : People with eye flu may experience discomfort or pain while blinking due to the inflammation of the conjunctiva. Blinking can exacerbate the iritation and cause further discomfort.

Causes Of Eye Flu :

Eye flu causes include various factors, leading to discomfort, redness, and irritation of the eyes. Understanding the eye flu causes is crucial in preventing its spread and ensuring timely treatment. In this article, we will explore the primary eye flu reasons and the factors that contribute to its development.

  • Viral Infection : Viral conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye flu causes. The primary eye flu reason for viral conjunctivitis is usually triggered by adenoviruses, which are the same viruses responsible for the common cold and upper respiratory infections. Viral conjunctivitis can spread easily through contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the eyes. This type of flu in eyes is highly contagious and tends to affect both eyes simultaneously.
  • Bacterial Infections : Bacterial conjunctivitis is another prevalent cause of eye flu. Bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumoniae, and haemophilus influenza are often responsible for this form of conjunctivitis. Bacterial eye infections can occur when these bacteria enter the eye through various means, such as poor hand hygiene, sharing contaminated items like towels or eye makeup, or touching the eyes with dirty hand. Bacterial conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes and may cause more severe symptoms than viral conjunctivitis.
  • Allergies : Allergic conjunctivitis is a non-infectious form of eye flu caused by an allergic reaction to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, or certain eye drops. The main eye flu reason for this type of allergy is given here : When the conjunctiva comes into contact with an allergen, the immune system releases histamines, leading to inflammation, redness, and itching of the eyes. Unlike viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and typically affects both eyes.
  • Environmental Irritants : Certain environmental factors can trigger eye flu-like symptoms due to irritants of the conjunctiva. Exposure to smoke, air pollution, chlorine in swimming pools, and harsh chemicals can lead to temporary conjunctivitis and discomfort. These irritants can cause the eyes to become red, itchy, and watery, but they are not infectious and do not spread from person to person.
  • Contact Lens Wear : Contact lens wearers may also be prone to developing eye flu, especially if they do not follow proper hygiene practices. Contaminated contact lenses or lens cases can introduce harmful bacteria or viruses to the eyes, causing conjunctivitis. It is crucial for contact lens wearer to adhere to strict hygiene routines, including proper lens cleaning, disinfection, and regular replacement to minimize the risk of eye infections.
  • Newborn Conjunctivitis : The main eye flu reason Newborn conjunctivitis is often due to an infection acquired during delivery. This condition, called neonatal conjunctivitis or opthalmia neonatorum, requires prompt medical attentionto prevent complications and protect the baby’s vision.

Eye Flu Treatment :

Prevention and Hygiene Practices :

Protect yourself and others from contracting this eye problem by adopting these hygiene practices to minimize the risk of infection :

  • Soap and Water Should be used regularly to clean hands for at least 20 seconds prior to touching any facial features or eyes, including touching or rubbing them. Touching eyes directly may introduce viruses and bacteria.
  • Utilize Tissues or Elbow : When coughing or sneezing, using tissues or coughing into your elbow will help prevent respiratory droplets from spreading further.
  • Avoid Sharing Personal Items : Never share towels , cosmetics or any other personal items which might come into contact with eyes with anyone.
  • Clean and Disinfect Surface : On an ongoing basis, be sure to disinfect surfaces that come into regular contact, such as doorknobs, countertops and electronic devices.
  • Practice Good Contact Lens Hygiene : If you wear contact lenses, be sure to follow proper hygiene practices, such as disinfecting and replacing them according to schedule.

Effective Treatment Option :

Most cases clear up within two to four weeks without needing specific medical intervention ; however, several effective treatment options exist that may alleviate symptoms and speed healing time, including :

  • Cold Compresses
  • Lubricating Ointments
  • Antiviral Eye Drops
  • Antihistamines
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Pain Relievers
  • Steroid Eye Drops : Only used when inflammation occurs

Some Misconception :

Can we have eye flu by seeing an infected person’s eye ?

There is a common misconception that eye flu can spread just by looking into someone’s eyes. However, this is not entirely true. The main mode of transmission for eye flu, also known as conjunctivitis, is through direct contact with the discharge from an infected person’s eyes.

Conclusion :

Eye flu, or conjunctivitis, is a prevalent eye condition that can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, allergies, or environmental irritants. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatment option can help individuals take preventive measures and seek timely medical attention when needed. By maintaining good hygiene practices and being mindful of environmental factors, you can reduce the risk of eye flu and enjoy clear and comfortable vision.

2 thoughts on “Eye Flu (Conjunctivitis): Pink Eye, Causes, Symptoms & Preventions

  • Amit Kumar

    It’s very good content
    Now days it is very complicated issue you explain it very well
    Thanks a lot 👍

    Reply

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