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HomeLifestyleHealthConjunctivitis: Causes, how it spreads, treatment, prevention tips | Health

Conjunctivitis: Causes, how it spreads, treatment, prevention tips | Health

For the past few days, there has been a concerning outbreak of conjunctivitis cases in the country, especially among children, raising concerns about monsoon-related diseases and as the cases are increasing, it is very important to take the right medication to treat this viral eye infection correctly. There has been a 70% rise of eye infections over the last 2-3 weeks across India where the recent spell of rain and the resulting floods have exacerbated the sanitation issues and according to health experts, this is causing an escalation in viral and bacterial diseases.

Conjunctivitis: Causes, how this viral eye infection spreads, treatment and prevention tips (Photo by Twitter/EmpoweringMMs)
Conjunctivitis: Causes, how this viral eye infection spreads, treatment and prevention tips (Photo by Twitter/EmpoweringMMs)

Causes of conjunctivitis and how it spreads:

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Venkata Prabhakar, Consultant – Cornea, Cataract, Refractive Surgery at Sankara Eye Hospital Hyderabad, talked about the sudden rise in viral eye infection and revealed, “At present, the outbreak of Conjunctivitis is due to virus (Adenoviris). It is essential to maintain cleanliness and be very cautious when it comes to eyes. Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious. It is primarily transmitted through direct contact with the eye secretions of an infected person but you can also get infected if you touch your eye after touching a contaminated surface like doorknobs, door handles or bathroom sinks. However, taking proper care and following the doctor’s recommendations can prevent its spread with no long-term problems.”

Dr Naresh Chawla, Family Medicine Specialist at Dr Chawla’s Total Health Clinic and Consultant at Practo, shared, “In the monsoon months, conjunctivitis is not uncommon. However, this year, the number of cases is at an all-time high, mostly due to the incessant rain and floods that have plagued Delhi and many parts of the country. All kinds of viruses and bacteria have thrived in this unhygienic environment. Community spread has also increased, especially among school-aged children.”


According to Dr Venkata Prabhakar, following are the medications used for Conjunctivitis –

  • Lubricating eye drops: Lubricating eye drops can help alleviate discomfort, redness, and dryness associated with conjunctivitis. They provide relief and promote faster healing.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are prescribed to fight the infection. It is crucial to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your Ophthalmologist.

Keeping the seriousness of the infection in mind, it is highly advisable to always consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicine as the dosage might vary from person to person and a doctor’s guidance is essential to ensure effective and safe treatment.

Precaution tips:

Dr Venkata Prabhakar recommended the following precautions to take while putting the eye drop –

• Wash your hands before putting the eye- drop

• Make sure that the tip of the dropper doesn’t touch any part of the eyes

• If there is more than one drop wait for 5 minutes before putting the next drop

• Sharing of eye drops is not advisable

Calling the spread of conjunctivitis nothing untoward, Dr Naresh Chawla advised, “Maintain good hygiene at all times, use separate towels, glasses and don’t rub your eyes. If you do get the infection, talk to your family physicians or eye specialists and ensure to take antibiotic drops and not steroid ones.”

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