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Eye Care during Monsoons

Dr. Preeti Dass

Monsoon brings with it a host of infections that affect the eyes and causes pain and discomfort. As we read along let’s identify some common ailments, find out how to address them and then some general eye care tips for the monsoons.

Monsoon brings with it a host of infections that affect the eyes and causes pain and discomfort. As we read along let’s identify some common ailments, find out how to address them and then some general eye care tips for the monsoons.

Some of the common eye problems that occur or can be aggravated during monsoons are:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Eye Styes
  • Dry Eyes
  • Corneal Ulcers

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and the eye surface. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of conjunctiva and is characterized by swelling and redness.

Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by:
  • A viral or bacterial infection
  • Dry eyes caused by excessive exposure to wind and the sun
  • Exposure to chemicals, smoke and fumes.
  • Allergy caused by dust, pollen, medicines, cosmetics and most of the times even by continued usage of contact-lenses
  • Injury caused physically or by radiation
Conjunctivitis can be cured by medication. While it is believed that wearing dark glasses can alleviate the condition, the truth is the dark glasses only keep your eyes cool and prevent immediate contact of the hands and eyes which can spread this contagious infection faster.

Dry Eyes

The eye requires constant flow of tears for moisturizing and lubrication to sustain vision. An imbalance in this tear flow can cause a condition called dry eyes and can lead to irritation, pain and blurring of vision. These symptoms aggravate on exposure to wind and cold air and one must be extremely careful of its occurrence during monsoons. Dry eyes cannot be cured but can certainly be treated. Treatments range from artificial tear drops to punctual occlusion and sometimes even surgery.

Eye styes

A stye is an infection that causes a painful lump along the eyelid. Styes are caused by bacterial infections and are rampant during monsoons. Styes are usually treated at home with wet and warm compresses and in cases of increased irritation and pain, by medication.

Corneal Ulcer

The cornea is the thin clear structure overlying the iris. A severe infection of the cornea characterized by open sore is called corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers cause pus discharge, severe pain and blurring of vision. It could be caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection or also by tears caused by trauma. It’s a serious health concern and should be treated by an ophthalmologist immediately.

How to prevent infections during monsoon?

A little care can go a long way in preventing infections and keeping your eyes healthy to enjoy the monsoons.
  • Wash your hands frequently especially after:
    - Touching your eyes or face.
    - Using eye medicine.
  • Keep an antibacterial lotion by your side when you are outdoors
  • Discontinue use of contact lens when you have an infection. After you are cured make sure you clean the lens thoroughly before putting them back into your eyes.
  • Do not share your contact lens solution or containers.
  • Do not share eye medicines.
  • Do not share towels and handkerchiefs as they can easily transfer infections.
  • Make sure your towels and linen are washed frequently especially if they come in contact with your hands or eyes frequently.
  • Do not use eye makeup or any cosmetics near the eye when you have an infection. If the infection is a contagious one, then replace your old make up products with a fresh one after you are cured.
  • Do not share eye makeup.
  • Wear gloves when you are administering eye medicine to someone else and wash your hands each time you look into their eyes or administer medicine.
  • Use eye protection when exposed to direct wind, heat, or cold
  • Use safety glasses when working with chemicals.
  • Stay clean: Do not touch your eyes without washing your hands. Children love playing in water-logged streets; this can bring home waterborne bacteria and cause eye infections.
  • Protection: Do not wipe your face with the towel that has been used to clean your hands or your body. Repeated use of the towel may may spread microbes to your eyes and cause infection.
  • Direct impact: Protect your eyes from wind  and rain, especially if you wear contact lenses.
  • Contact care: Carry your complete contact lens kit during monsoon. Discontinue wearing your lens if there is redness of eyes

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