A notable surge in viral eye infections, particularly cases of conjunctivitis, has been observed in Karachi, with dozens of new cases being reported daily in both public and private hospitals within the city.

Over the past month, the city's medical facilities, including Jinnah Hospital, have been receiving around 50 Initial Outpatient Department (IOPD) visits daily, with approximately 25 of those cases involving individuals presenting with red-eye symptoms, including children and women.

Dr. Muhammad Mueezuddin, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, highlighted that the rise in cases can be attributed to the transfer of ocular secretions from an infected person's eye to another. Conjunctivitis, often referred to as red eye, typically lasts for 8 to 10 days. Symptoms include redness, eye discomfort, and moisture accumulation. Dr. Mueezuddin stressed the importance of maintaining separate personal items such as towels and soap for infected individuals.

He advised that those affected should use prescribed eye drops and clean tissues to gently cleanse the eyes. Cold water rinses can provide relief, but emphasis should be placed on maintaining cleanliness and adhering to caution to curb the spread of the infection.

Dr. Rabia Chaudhry, an Assistant Ophthalmologist at Jinnah Hospital Karachi, further elaborated on the symptoms of conjunctivitis, including redness, eye moisture, itching, inflammation, and the formation of lumps near the ear. In severe cases, it might impact the cornea, potentially affecting visual acuity.

Dr. Chaudhry explained that if the infection is confined to the white part of the eye, recovery usually occurs within 8 to 10 days. However, when the infection affects the retina, the recovery period might extend to two to three weeks.

Emphasizing the importance of precautions, Dr. Chaudhry underlined that eye infections require careful handling due to their transmissibility from person to person. While not transmitted through mere sight, direct contact with infected eye fluids is the primary mode of transmission. Additionally, individuals with red eye symptoms often concurrently experience cold, flu, and cough symptoms.

She stressed the significance of personal precautions, including washing hands before using eye drops and ensuring the dropper tip remains away from the affected eye. The doctor highlighted that children are also being affected, necessitating special care. To minimize transmission, individuals with conjunctivitis should take extra care to prevent direct contact between their eye secretions and those of others.

Written By Web Desk

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