Al Shifa Trust calls for following hygiene practices to control conjunctivitis

September 28, 2023

Rawalpindi: After Karachi and Sindh province, Punjab province is witnessing a fast spread of conjunctivitis, a viral infection of eyes commonly known as ‘Aashob-e-Chasham’ or Pink Eye and in this situation, according to Al Shifa Eye Trust, immediate attention is needed to prevent its spread.

By following proper hygiene practices and taking necessary precautions, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding eye rubbing, the risk of infection can be significantly reduced, said the Trust.

Patients suffering from conjunctivitis should avoid rubbing their eyes, as it can worsen symptoms. Those who have conjunctivitis in one eye should avoid touching their eyes with the same cloth to reduce the risk of spreading the condition from one eye to the other, the Al-Shifa Trust said.

To relieve the discomfort associated with conjunctivitis, advice from an ophthalmologist is necessary, who may recommend applying either a warm or cold cloth or towel to closed eyelids three to four times a day. Patients should avoid eye makeup and use of contact lenses until the condition has gone away, said Professor Dr. Inamul Haq Khan, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital.

He said the infection spreads more by touching the eyes and is very easily transmissible to other people. Conjunctivitis is often spread by touching a contaminated surface, and then touching eyes. Washing hands frequently can help avoid contracting the infection. Patients with anxiety need more caution than treatment, he said. He added that one of the reasons for the spread of this disease is more than usual rains.

Dr. Khan said that at present, many people are affected in Karachi and Lahore, while it is also becoming more common in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Redness, tears, and itching in the eyes are symptoms of conjunctivitis. It is an infection and it affects children more because they have low immunity, he said.

Since children are not careful, they quickly attract infection, which causes the eyes to swell. Affected people experience swelling in their eyes. There may be separate medicines for children and adults, but unnecessary use of antibiotic drops can damage the cornea, and recovery of the eye may take up to six months, he said.

He added that eyes can be compressed through a piece of cloth to reduce pain but splashing water in the infected eyes should be avoided though eye wash drops can be used.