02 October 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Number Of People Complaining Of The Condition 10 To 12 Per Day: Experts
Erratic weather conditions and fluctuating temperature in the city is again leading to an increasing number of conjunctivitis cases after a brief lull, said experts here on Friday.
During the lull period, the number of people complaining of the condition had declined to two to three per day, which has gone up to around 10 to 12 over the last three to four days, he added. "At present, the high fluctuation in temperature is what is aiding the adenovirus to grow and multiply. Usually, the adenovirus remains strong for the first three weeks of an outbreak. Later, its virulence starts to decrease. However, the current erratic weather condition has revived the virulence of the adenovirus.”
Jignesh Taswala, president of Pune Ophthalmology Society – which has more than 400 city ophthalmologists attached to it, said, "Conjunctivitis cases seem to have made a comeback. The virus is resistant to alcohol–based based chemicals and sterilisers, like spirit, but is susceptible to sodium hydroxide, which is present in common bathing soaps as well as handwash liquids and soaps.”
"Other epidemic outbreaks – like dengue, malaria and viral infections – can corroborate the virulence and support the growth of the adenovirus and other systemic illnesses,” said Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of the Indian Medical Association.
Meanwhile, following a spurt in cases of conjunctivitis, patients and doctors are complaining that there is a seeming shortage of eye drops in the market, said general practitioner Avinash Bhondwe. "Many of my patients are complaining that they are not getting eye drops.”
Mahendra Pitaliya, chief co–ordinator of the Chemists Association of Pune district, said, "Since there is an increase in cases of conjunctivitis, the supply may be falling a little short of the demand, but there is no glaring shortage of eye drops in the market.”
Can one prevent the infection by putting eye drops?
Eye drops do not prevent viral conjunctivitis. It is better to take precautions and seek medical advice
How is the condition treated?
If a virus is causing conjunctivitis, antibiotic drops will not help. The eye infection will get better as the body fights off the virus. But you may need treatment for redness, swelling, pain and inflammation
- Visit an eye specialist
- Wash hands with soap after suspected contact
- Take prescribed medication regularly
- Cold compress the eyes with clean washed cloth
- Use sunglasses in case of infection
- Consume food rich in Vitamin C
- Restrict activities for three to five days in case of infection
- For itching eyes, rub the eyebrow above that eye
- Avoid swimming
- Avoid self medication
- Avoid handshakes
- Do not use others’ or expired eye drops
- No hot fomentation for the eyes
- Avoid sharing towels, napkins etc.
- Avoid direct exposure to air and sunlight
- Avoid crowed places
- Avoid rubbing eyes
- Do not touch horizontal hard surfaces like table top
- Do not use contact lenses
- Disinfect public swimming pools frequently
- Avoid public places if you have sore throat, fever etc
- Patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis may give a history of recent exposure to an individual with conjunctivitis at home, school, work or they may have a history of recent symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. The eye infection may be unilateral or bilateral
- Patients complain of redness, watering, itching, foreign body sensation, lid swelling, ballooning or cystic conjunctiva and photophobia (with corneal involvement). There may be swelling in front of, or near the ears