Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye Myths and Facts - Home Remedies & Symptoms
Created by Bhavna Updated on Aug 13, 2018
First rains of the season and the first reaction that one may have is of great respite from the torturing heat and a few hours later comes the strong urge to have pakodas and chai. Life could not be better. A few more hours into the rainy season and the reality start showing its ugly face with waterlogging, traffic jams and power cuts followed by the real problem of all the water borne diseases.
As an ophthalmologist, the most common disease that I have to face is "Conjunctivitis" also called "Eye Flu" or "Pink Eye" or "Madras eyes". Like every season I have been getting usually high number of Pink Eye cases since last few days and that is why I decided to pen down some facts and precautions that parents may take in order to deal with this problem if the need arises.
Conjunctivitis Disease Myths
What are a Couple of Myths that Surrounding Conjunctivitis Disease?
- Eye drops that a doctor prescribes cannot shorten the duration of the disease.
- The disease does not spread by looking at each other.
- The use of hand sanitizer is not useful as the virus is resistant to alcohol-based disinfectants.
- There are NO eye drops that can be used by a normal person to prevent catching the infection and it is important to resolve the issue by a quick visit to an
- The disease does not worsen by watching TV or computer use.
- There is no role of frequent splashing of water in the eyes. In fact the tap water actually irritates the eye and washes away all the antibodies the body is secreting in the tears to tackle the infection.
- As of now; there are NO drugs available that can be put in the eye or eaten to cure this infection. It is body's own immunity that takes care of the infection, and it eventually does.
Must-know Conjunctivitis or Yellow Eye Facts
What are some of the eye flu facts that one needs to know about Conjunctivitis?
- Most cases of conjunctivitis especially those during epidemics in rainy season are caused by viruses. The most common virus being "Adenovirus"- A very hardy virus resistant to harsh surroundings and
- It is important to understand that any Eye drops that a doctor prescribes cannot shorten the duration of the disease. The antibiotic eye drops that a doctor prescribes cannot cure the infection and are given with the presumption that at least in some of the cases (especially in children) are bacterial and will respond to
- The disease does not spread by looking at each other. It usually spreads by touch and our hands are the major culprits in this regard. Therefore the best method to prevent spread of the virus is frequent handMedicated soaps do not have any advantage over normal soaps.
- There are NO eye drops that can be used by a normal person to prevent catching the infection. In fact if one shares the eye drop that are being used by a patient, one is more likely to catch the virus than
- Other household things coming in contact with the eyes including pillows, towels and handkerchiefs can also contribute to the spread of the virus and should be separate for the patient.
- A common mode of spread of this infection is the swimming pool, the use of which should be avoided during rainy
- The severity of the symptoms varies from season to season depending on the particular virus, which is prevalent at the time. The severity of the disease also varies from person to person and depends on the healththe eye, body's immunity and use of concurrent medications especially use of steroids.
- Most people have thick sticky discharge especially in the morning. This can be cleaned with a soft wet cloth or cotton.
It can take anywhere between 3 days to 3 weeks for the infection to resolve depending on the above factors. Some drugs are under trial and its possible that they may be available soon. Some doctors prefer to use steroid eye drops to reduce symptoms. This is actually a controversial topic for which this this is not the right forum. But what is worth mentioning is that the most important aspect of use of steroids is the timing. If used too early in the course of the disease, it can actually worsen the problem, increasing the total duration of symptoms. But in the later part of the disease, it can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms. In any case, use of steroids has to be properly monitored by an ophthalmologist and self-medication may be strictly avoided. Having conjunctivitis does not preclude u from doing your day-to-day work as long as one feels comfortable doing so.
Conjunctivitis Home Remedies
Since children may be intolerable to the eye drops prescribed by your doctor, there are a number of conjunctivitis home remedies which have been proven to be effective in treating your child for the infection. Let us look at the possible effective remedy to treat your child for conjunctivitis quickly. Read more on Yellow Eye Treatment Home Remedies
The important take home message is that conjunctivitis is a self-limiting disease that spontaneously resolves. It is highly contagious and the best way to prevent spread is frequent hand washing with soap and water. The treatment is only to control the symptoms and not to cure the infection for which body's immune cells are enough.
Hopefully the few facts, tips and myths about this disease will help in keeping the eye health of our families safe.