Eye Flu: (Conjunctivitis) Symptoms, Protection, and Treatment
At present, a large number of people are affected by eye flu in most parts of the country. Conjunctivitis is a condition of inflammation or infection in the conjunctiva of the eyes, in which the eyes usually become red.
In common parlance, it is called ‘eye flu’ or ‘aankh ka aana’. The humidity and humid heat in the weather is a favorable environment for conjunctivitis infection.
Its infection spreading in most parts of the country has increased the arrival of people suffering from it not only in the primary health centers but also in the emergency departments of the hospitals.
Thick watery discharge starts from the reddened eyes in eye flu. Although the nature of conjunctivitis can be both infectious and non-infectious. Its infectious stage can be due to viral or bacterial causes, while non-infectious eye flu can be induced by some kind of allergy or toxin (toxin).
Common symptoms of Eye Flu
Generally, the following symptoms can emerge in the case of conjunctivitis:
• Redness of the eyes
• Stinging in the eyes
• sticking of eyes
• Eye swelling
• Itchy eyes
• Sensitivity to light.
• Bacterial: Symptoms like redness of the eyes, pricking of a foreign substance inside the eyelids, blurred vision in the morning, whitish-yellow pus-like discharge.
• Viral: conditions such as stinging and tearing of eyes, watery eyes, and recent history of upper respiratory tract infection.
• Allergies: Stinging or burning in the eyes, history of allergies in the past, watery discharge, etc.
What happens in Eye Flu infection
In conjunctivitis, the eye becomes infected by infectious pathogens or non-infectious agents responsible for the sting. In this, due to swelling and edema (edema) in the blood vessels of the conjunctiva, conditions like swelling, burning, and discharge from the eyes arise. In this, the entire conjunctiva of the eye gets affected.
In the case of bacterial conjunctivitis, groups of staphylococcus, streptococcus, and corynebacteria accumulate on the tissues of the inner surface of the eyes. Although the conjunctiva is normally protected by an epithelial cover, infection with this bacterium destroys the protective cover and infects it.
Apart from this, under the process of the immune system, the microscopic layer of immunoglobulins and lysozyme in the tear and cleaning the eyes during blinking also protects the eyes from getting infected.
Reasons for the emergence of Eye flu
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can be behind the emergence of conjunctivitis. About 80 percent of cases of acute conjunctivitis are viral, with adenovirus involvement in 65 to 90 percent of cases. Other viral pathogens ie herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and enterovirus may also play a role.
Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs more commonly in children than in adults and the bacteria responsible may differ depending on the age of the affected person. While Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae can be responsible for conjunctivitis in adults, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are more common in children. Other bacterial infections can be caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the most common cause of conjunctivitis in newborns and adults with sexually transmitted diseases. Non-infectious conjunctivitis can be caused by certain types of allergens, toxins, and some local factors affecting the eye.
Research studies have shown that children up to the age of 7 are more commonly affected by conjunctivitis. In which the number of children of 4 years of age is maximum. The spread of conjunctivitis is influenced by conditions like weather, climate, and geographical location. At present, the rainy and post-rainy conditions are prevailing in most of the regions of India, and during this period, more cases of conjunctivitis are also coming to light during the humid and humid summer. However, studies have also found outbreaks of conjunctivitis due to allergies.
Eye flu test
The culture method is rarely used in the laboratory to diagnose conjunctivitis. However, in those who have recurrent eye flu infections and treatment for gonococcal or chlamydial infections is ineffective. In conditions such as suspected conjunctivitis infection in the newborn and severe purulent discharge in adults, the eyelids of the affected person are examined by culture method. The virus responsible for conjunctivitis can be confirmed by a rapid antigen test to identify adenovirus infections. In patients with acute viral conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis can be identified by virus isolation. Allergic conjunctivitis can be diagnosed by the presence of eosinophil cells in the upper surface of the conjunctiva, since those cells are present only in the inner layer of the conjunctiva.
Eye flu treatment
In the treatment of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, first of all, the affected person should be informed about the aspects related to it. Bacterial conjunctivitis usually gets better on its own. Nevertheless, reducing the duration of its symptoms is helpful in its treatment. An eye flu-infected person should wash his eye gently with clean water and wipe it with a clean cloth.
Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus or bacteria responsible for this, it is very important for an infected person to wash his hands properly after washing his eyes or putting medicine in them. It is advisable for an infected person to take a break from work or school and stay at home for a few days.
The use of antibiotic ointment or eye drops is recommended by ophthalmologists based on proper investigation. Depending on the severity of the conjunctivitis infection, the use of these medicines is recommended for 5 to 7 days at an interval of every 2 to 6 hours as per the decision of the ophthalmologist or general practitioner. Viral conjunctivitis caused by adenovirus resolves on its own yet is treated to reduce symptoms.
Similarly, in the case of conjunctivitis caused by herpes simplex virus and herpes zoster virus, medical experts recommend treatment with appropriate doses of antiviral drugs. Similarly, in the case of conjunctivitis caused due to allergies, doctors recommend the use of appropriate dosages of medicines.
But in any case, only the medicine prescribed by the doctor should be used for the treatment of conjunctivitis. Taking the decision to buy ointments or eye drops available over the counter on your own can prove to be dangerous for both eye protection and light.
stay away from the Eye flu
Infection of conjunctivitis can occur in persons of any age, region, or socio-economic level. Most (about 80 percent) cases are diagnosed not by ophthalmologists, but usually by primary health workers, pediatricians, and nurses.
This is the reason that the health system has to bear additional economic burdens due to the large number of patients suffering from these visiting health centers and medical facilities. Although conjunctivitis is a self-healing infection and the risk of loss of vision is very low, it is very important to find out other causes of redness of the eye while examining it, which can lead to loss of vision. be in danger The conjunctiva (eye mucosa) is the transparent, lubricating mucus that covers the upper surface of the eye. It consists of the ‘bulbar conjunctiva’ (the covering covering the eye globe), and the ‘tarsal conjunctiva’ (the inner surface of the eyelids).
In eye flu, conditions like swelling of these conjunctiva tissues, bulging of blood vessels, bulging of pain, and discharge from the eyes arise. It can be acute or chronic and can be an infectious or non-infectious condition. The acute phase of conjunctivitis can last for 3 to 4 weeks (usually 1 to 2 weeks), while the chronic phase can last for more than 4 weeks. Conjunctivitis may also be associated with immune-related disorders, nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin A, and congenital metabolic syndromes.