Tamil Nadu reports over 4,500 conjunctivitis cases daily, state govt issues alert; know all about Madras eye

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The cases of conjunctivitis are rapidly increasing in Tamil Nadu due to continuous rains in the state

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu, grappling with non-stop rains over a month has seen a tremendous rise in the cases of conjunctivitis with the state reporting over 4,500 cases daily.

Also known as Madras eye, the contagious ailment has seen over 100 cases daily from the capital Chennai alone. The state government has issued alerts and warnings, asking people not to self-medicate as wrong procedures can lead to loss of vision and other eye-related issues. Experts are saying that the active monsoon system in the state causing continuous rainfall has caused the infectious ailment.

Doctors say that more than 90 per cent of the total cases are caused by the infection of adenovirus. People infected with Madras Eye experience redness, itchiness, irritation, and grittiness in their eyes.

They may also face the issue of watery discharge from eyes similar to tears. The spread of the infection to another eye is very common. The infection is also common among children.

What is conjunctivitis or Madras Eye?

According to WebMD, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin and clear tissue that lies over the white area of the eye and the inner side of the eyelid. Being a highly contagious disease, conjunctivitis is not serious but can damage vision if not treated properly and well in time.

There are different types of conjunctivitis, a few are:

Viral strains, caused commonly when the infection starts in one eye, cause redness and tears and thereafter spreads to the ther one as well. The patient also feels swelling on their lymph nodes in front of the ear and under the jaw. Bacterial strains usually limit to one eye but cause a lot of pus and mucous discharge. Allergic strains produce watery eyes, itching, and scratching all over the eyes. Ophthalmia neonatorum is a severe infection that usually affects newborns and can be caused by dangerous bacteria.

Signs and symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

Redness and swelling in the eye and eyelid Continuous watery discharge A thick, yellow discharge known as pus forms crusts along the eyelashes Itchiness and wanting to scratch all the time Burning and pain in the eyes Blurred vision Sensitivity to light Swollen lymph nodes Causes of conjunctivitis According to health experts, the Madras eye can be caused due to various reasons, a few of which include: Viral infections Bacteria Chemical irritants like shampoos, smoke, dust particles A reaction to medicines or eye drops Allergic seasonal reaction Reaction to contact lenses Fungal infection Sometimes also through sex, resulting in an STD like gonorrhea which is caused due to a bacterial infection.

How to protect your eyes from infection?

Health experts say in case of an outbreak of infection, it is very important to follow these tips:

Make sure to wash your hands, especially before eating Keep your eyes clean, and wash them if you feel irritation Change pillowcases, bed sheets, and laundry every alternate day in case of an outbreak of infection. Never touch your infected eyes Always take off your lenses before going for a bath or to seep Do not unnecessarily use eye drops unless prescribed by a doctor Always wear sunglasses when going out in the sun and in public

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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