Eyes are the most delicate organ in our body, ironically eye health is often neglected in today's busy life. We are constantly exposed to digital screens and environmental pollution that can lead to various eye problems. One such problem is the "eye flu" known as viral conjunctivitis or pink eyes.
Viral and bacterial infections are common during the rainy season, and eye flu is one of them. Hence, you are seeing eye flu from all the places now. This condition can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens and environmental factors. Here we explore the symptoms of eye flu, its causes, prevention and treatment options. Let's delve into the symptoms and treatment options for eye flu.
What Is Eye Flu?
Viral conjunctivitis, commonly known as eye flu, is an infection that causes red, itchy, and inflamed eyes. This infection is common during the rainy days as bacteria and viruses can easily enter the eye and cause various eye diseases. Unhygienic practices like uncleaned contact lenses, glasses, using towels can cause eye irritation.
Eye flu is highly contagious and can cause painful swelling of the conjunctiva of the eye. Children are susceptible to this infection, and it occurs more frequently during the rainy season. It is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this infection.
Eye Flu - Cause
Eye flu is an infectious disease; thus, it is important to know its causes. The major causes of eye flu disease are:
1. Viral Infections
Viruses are the most common vectors of ocular influenza. Two major types of viruses such as adenoviruses and enteroviruses affect conjunctiva of the eye (the thin membrane that lines the front of the eye) and cause eye infections. They cause itchy eyes, excessive tearing, and redness. These viruses are contagious, so it's important to avoid crowded places and close-contact settings.
2. Bacterial Infections
Eye flu symptoms can also be caused by bacterial infections. common bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus can easily enter the conjunctiva of eyes and cause bacterial conjunctivitis.
3. Allergic Reactions
Another cause of eye flu is an allergic reaction that causes watery, red, and itchy eyes. Allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, certain cosmetics, and pollen interact with the immune system to cause allergic conjunctivitis.
4. Other irritants
Irritants and foreign objects can also cause eye cold symptoms. These particles include smoke, pollutants, chlorine in swimming pools, and more. These irritants may cause you to experience itchy or red eyes.
What Are Eye Flu Symptoms?
The significant eye flu symptoms are;
1. Redness And Irritation
Redness and irritation are the primary eye flu symptoms. It is caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyes. Due to the inflammation eye flu may have a gritty or sandy sensation as if debris is present. In this eye condition the blood vessels of the eyes get dilated and thus appear pink and called pink eyes.
Some of the other commonly felt sensations are itchiness, scratchiness, or foreign body sensation in eyes are commonly experienced.
2. Discharge From The Eyes
Thick, sticky discharge from the eyes observed during the morning is a symptom of bacterial conjunctivitis. This discharge is often yellowish or light greenish and can make the eyelids stick together. Viral conjunctivitis may also produce a watery discharge from the eyes.
Conjunctiva, can stimulate the tear glands, causing an overflow of tears. Hence, excessive tear production, leading to watery eyes, is another common eye flu symptom.
3. Sensitiveness To Light
In eye flu you may feel photophobic, a condition where the eyes get sensitive to light. Exposure to bright lights or sun can discomfort you and may cause pain in the eyes.
4. Crusting Of Eyelids
In cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, the discharge from the eyes gets dry and hardens overnight, forming crusts over the eyelids. Morning when you wake up you may find your lids are stick to and difficult to open your eyes.
5. Swelling Of Eyelids
Puffy, swollen eyelids are a possible symptom of eye flu, primarily caused by allergies.
Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can be spread from one individual to another through direct contact. Allergic conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is not contagious and does not spread from person to person. So don’t be scared if by mistake you have come in contact with an infected person.
Precautions to be taken?
You should follow simple but effective hygiene practices to prevent eye flu.
• Frequent hand washing with soap and water can help prevent the virus from infecting your eyes.
• Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands to avoid transferring the virus to the delicate eye area.
• Use clean towels and do not share personal items such as towels or eye makeup in public spaces such as gyms and swimming pools.
• You should avoid close contact with people with eye flu symptoms to reduce the risk of infection.
• You can cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Regularly clean and disinfect objects that touch your face like sunglasses and makeup brushes.
Eye Flu Treatment Option
The significant eye flu treatment options are;
1. Maintain Hygiene
To prevent the spread and infection of conjunctivitis, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, and avoid sharing towels, pillows, and cosmetics with others.
2. Warm Compress
Giving affected eyes a warm compress can be helpful to avoid any crust or discharge that may have formed.
3. Avoid Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, it is recommended that you switch to glasses until the infection has subsided.
4. Over the counter Eye drops
Generally, conjunctivitis being a viral infection takes its course of time to get healed. To reduce the redness, to control the spread of the infection and soothe eyes one can use an effective eye drop that is available over the counter. You can visit the pharma shop and ask for an eye drop that's helpful for conjunctivitis. EyeSpa eye drops is one such over the counter eye drop. It is available in three variants i.e. EyeSpa eye drop with carboxymethyl cellulose, EyeSpa Ayur made with 17 herbal products for complete eye care and EyeSpa Red is specially made to relieve eye redness.
By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of getting eye flu and other contagious eye infections. In severe cases it is advisable to see a doctor.