A red eye is one of the first and most common symptoms of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inner side of the eyelid. It is usually the result of a viral infection and can easily spread from one person to another. Conjunctivitis can also be a symptom of STDs like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In newborns, conjunctivitis can be vision threatening while in grownups it is not considered a serious health risk.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis differ according to the cause of the infection. Some common symptoms of conjunctivitis are:
An eye examination and testing a sample of the fluid secreted by the eye can be used to diagnose conjunctivitis. It can easily be treated at home and does not require hospitalization. Antibiotics are often given in the form of eye drops and ointments to treat conjunctivitis. These usually need to be applied 3-4 times a day for a period of 5-6 days. Wash your eyes before putting the eye drops. Once applied, close your eyes and roll the eyeball around to distribute the medicine and keep it from overflowing out of the eye. Wash your hands immediately after applying the eye drops.
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. If you are suffering from it, you should take a few days off work and restrict your social interactions. Wash your hands frequently as you may unconsciously rub your eyes. This is especially important with regards to meals and finger foods. Also, avoid sharing towels, pillow cases etc to minimize the transmission of the disease from one person to another.
Avoid using makeup while being treated for conjunctivitis. With conjunctivitis, the eye is more sensitive to irritants and thus a speck of makeup can worsen the situation. Also avoid contacts. If you wear contacts regularly, dispose the current set and start using a fresh set after your doctor gives you a clean chit.
Artificial tears or non prescription eye drops can also be used to relieve the itchiness and burning in the infected eye. If only one eye had been affected by conjunctivitis, do not use the same eye drop bottle for both eyes.
One of the worst floods ever in Kerala has brought a deluge of Leptospirosis.
The Director of the Health Department issued an alert that there is a sudden increase of Leptospirosis cases from Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur districts.
According to the report, 28 cases of Leptospirosis were reported in Kozhikode. Further , DMO reported that there were 64 people who were suspected of suffering from this disease.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is commonly known as “Rat Fever.” It is an infection caused by a bacteria called 'Leptospira interrogans' . The infection is transmitted through the urine of rodents, dogs, and farm animals.
Leptospirosis is the kind of Flu that lasts for one or two weeks but revives again once it is cured.
If left untreated, it can also lead to some more serious problems, like chest pain, swollen legs, and arms. In most cases, doctors recommend hospitalization.
Causes of Leptospirosis:
Blood, urine, or tissue transmitted from cattle, pigs, dogs, or animals that carry the bacteria.
Direct or indirect contact with water that is contaminated with bacteria.
Direct or indirect contact with soil that has bacteria.
Common symptoms associated with Leptospirosis are as below :
How to Prevent Leptospirosis?
Some of the helpful ways to prevent Leptospirosis are:
1. Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water and Soil
Since Leptospirosis is caused by contaminated water or soil, one should avoid drinking contaminated water. Try to limit the contact with contaminated soil as well. Wearing full clothes and drinking filtered water is beneficial.
2. Use Disinfectants
Disinfectants like Lysol, Bleach, Iodine, and Acid Solutions will help to kill the bacteria that cause Leptospirosis. Using these regularly may lower the rate of Leptospirosis.
3. Maintain Hygiene
Maintaining hygiene is one of the best ways to inhibit the bacteria. Washing hands with disinfectants while eating or drinking will help a lot, especially in this worse situation of Kerala.
4. Do Not Eat or Drink While Handling Animals.
One must ensure that they do not eat, drink, or smoke anything while handling the animals, as it increases the chances of bacteria to enter the body.
5. Treat Wounds Immediately
As bacteria can even be transmitted in the bloodstream, it is necessary to treat wounds and injuries immediately. Also, it should be ensured that open wounds do not come in contact with contaminated water or soil, as they will provide a direct pathway for the bacteria.
Since it is difficult to eliminate Leptospirosis in this deteriorating situation of Kerala, these preventive measures may help to inhibit the bacteria. However, consulting a doctor or immediate treatment will always be a great idea to cure the disease.