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Eye health and the monsoon season

Sightsavers 07 January 2014 picture of a young boy

Monsoon brings joy as you say goodbye to summer – and your sunglasses (remember, they also protect your eyes from infection). Monsoons bring with them an army of infections that cause eye pain and discomfort, so don’t ignore your eye health this monsoon. Viral infections are known to thrive and spread during rains due to increased moisture in the air.

Proper eye care should become a priority during monsoons to help protect from infections like conjunctivitis, stye, dry eyes and corneal ulcers which can lead to blindness.

Here are some of the precautions you can take during monsoons to maintain good eye health.

  • Precautions are usually based on hygiene. Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
  • Ask your children to not touch their eyes.
  •  If you (or someone around you) suspect you’ve got or are getting conjunctivitis, wash your eyes gently and use a cold compress. The best thing would be to see a doctor.
  • If someone at home is down with conjunctivitis, wash your hands after administering drops.
  • Redness, irritation & itching are common monsoon-related problems, especially after too much reading, long hours at the computer or watching too much television, and most hospitals treat such problems with lubricating eye drops. However, if you have such a problem, don’t self-medicate – ask a doctor.
  •  Avoid sharing your towel and similar personal items with others, because infections mostly spread through hands, clothes and other commonly touched items.
  • Stye is a common eye infection that occurs during monsoons, and is caused due to bacteria. It manifests as a painful lump along the eyelid, and is normally treated with the help of a warm compress, though a visit to the doctor is highly recommended.
  • In case of red eye, avoid over-the-counter eye drops as they may contain steroids which can be harmful, and seek expert advice. Also avoid using contact lens during this period.
  • Wearing glasses when travelling helps.
  • Avoid roadside food.
  • Always wash your hands after coming from outside.
  • Try to keep children away from puddles and waterlogged areas. Children often like to have fun in or around such places but they are highly bacteria prone.

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