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September 7, 2010

Weather conditions cause eye disease

Islamabad

September 7, 2010

Islamabad: The prevailing weather conditions with intermittent rains have increased conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) disease as a number of infected residents of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are seen visiting hospitals. Dr Waseem Khawaja of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) told APP that they were receiving at least 15 to 20 patients in the Emergency Department, while the same number of infected people in Ophthalmology Department.
He said the most common cause of conjunctivitis was a viral infection. Other causes include seasonal allergies, bacterial infection and reactions to eye medications, he added.
He told that conjunctivitis was an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eyeball. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, discharge, burning, and sometimes itching and light sensitivity. It can occur in one eye or both.
He said the viral conjunctivitis could be transmitted from one person to another by casual contact, sharing towels or pillowcases, facial contact, or sharing of cosmetics.
He said the affected persons should avoid hand shaking and mixing with children. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious in the first 10-12 days and may last up to 2 weeks, he added.
Dr Yasir Hameed, an eye specialist at a well-known private hospital, told that it could occur before, during, or after a cold or upper respiratory infection. He said to avoid picking up the disease, the important precaution should be with handwashing. Always wash hands with soap and water before and after touching the eyes, he added.

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