Seasonal Surge In Eye Flu Raises Concerns

To avoid allergic reactions, considering antihistamine eye drops and exploring immune therapy options can provide relief and manage the disorder or allergic conjunctivitis.

Eyes are a priceless gift from nature. They not only illuminate the human personality with vision and splendour but also provide the opportunity to be blessed with the colours of the universe. Indeed, it is true that where there is sight, there is a spectacle, and where there is a spectacle, there is beauty wherever you look. Eyes are the most sensitive and delicate organs of the human body, and environmental pollution and dust, as well as intense brightness, affect them profoundly. Due to seasonal effects, eye problems have become widespread, affecting almost every seventh individual. This condition is known as “Aashoob-e-Chashm,” “Pink Eye,” or “Eye Flu.”

There are many types of Aashoob-e-Chashm, or eye flu, including bacterial conjunctivitis (due to bacteria), viral conjunctivitis (due to viruses), and allergic conjunctivitis (related to allergies).

The bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae and spreads through direct contact with substances expelled from the infected eye. The symptoms include redness, thick or yellow-green discharge, and crusting of the eyelids.

The chaos of allergic conjunctivitis, such as pollen, dust particles, and pet dander, manifests through symptoms like redness, itching, and excessive tearing. To avoid allergic reactions, considering antihistamine eye drops and exploring immune therapy options can provide relief and manage the disorder or allergic conjunctivitis.

Irritant conjunctivitis caused by factors like chemicals or foreign substances manifests through symptoms such as redness, tearing, and discomfort. Rinsing the eyes with cold water and using artificial tears can reduce and prevent discomfort.

However, the current outbreak of “Aashoob-e-Chashm,” or Eye Flu, starting in Karachi, a major city in Pakistan, is caused by the adenovirus, which spreads through droplets such as sneezing, coughing, etc. Hence, it is also referred to as a highly contagious disease and has caused significant damage in Pakistan, affecting a significant number of people.

About seven lacs, particularly in the province of Punjab, where the number of affected patients has crossed one and a half lacs. It has become a pandemic, similar to the Corona Virus, affecting children, the elderly, youth, and pregnant women alike.

This is a highly distressing condition, with patients’ eyes becoming red and swollen and unable to tolerate heavy light. Typically, it is called “Aankh dukhna” or “Aankh Aanah” in local terms. The intensity of the burning and itching in the eyes becomes unbearable, and the eyes constantly produce watery, thin secretions. The eyes exhibit a rapid sparkle, similar to bright light, which can be painful. Upon waking up, the eyelids become sticky, making it difficult to open the eyes. If the condition worsens, it can even affect vision.

While “Aashoob-e-Chashm” or Eye Flu may not have a specific season, it tends to have a higher incidence during the monsoon season. Since it is an epidemic disease, controlling its spread is not easy. However, like some diseases that disappear over time, “Aashoob-e-Chashm” is one of them and usually resolves on its own within seven to ten days. Nevertheless, it is crucial to take immediate action and adopt preventive measures to curb its spread.

The examination of conjunctivitis can be done through a physical examination in which a health care professional examines signs and symptoms related to conjunctivitis and other characteristics upon which he declares whether it is bacterial, allergic, or viral conjunctivitis. Patient history also provides insight into the current condition of individuals affected by allergies, itching, and eye disorders, aiding in identifying the type of conjunctival disorder.

Collection of material expelled from the eye for analysis In cases of bacterial eye disorders, collecting samples of expelled material from the eye can assist in identifying the bacteria responsible and also assist in the treatment process. All these examination processes can help in distinguishing between bacterial, allergic, and viral conjunctivitis.

The complications are spreading to the second eye. In the case of one eye, it is crucial to adopt protective measures to prevent the spread of contamination to the other eye.

Without proper treatment, ocular chaos can contribute to the development of other bacterial diseases. In extreme cases, it can impact corneal function, causing vision problems, and if left untreated, it can cause prolonged eye damage.

Practicing good hygiene, avoiding touching the eyes with unwashed hands, and minimising contact with contaminated towels, pillows, and personal items can reduce the risk of infection, and individuals with conjunctivitis should stay home until the symptoms subside to prevent infecting others.

The excessive use of over-the-counter eye drops without a prescription can worsen the discomfort, so follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.

You should seek medical help when the symptoms are severe, including intense pain and visual impairment, and if symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

Individuals with pre-existing eye conditions or weakened immune systems should seek immediate medical attention.

Stay safe, keep your hands clean, and protect your eyes. After all, where there are eyes, there is observation, and where there is observation, there is appreciation everywhere.”