Eye flu or conjunctivitis is an infection in the mucous membrane of the eye. It causes irritation, redness and discharge from the eyes. Eye flu is highly contagious and spreads quickly from person to person. Here are some useful tips for taking care of eyes when you have eye flu:
Consult an Ophthalmologist
If you notice symptoms of eye flu like redness, itching and watery eyes, consult an ophthalmologist immediately. Get your eyes examined and follow the treatment prescribed. Timely medical intervention will help cure the infection faster.
Use Antibiotic and Anti-allergic Eye Drops
Eye doctors generally prescribe antibiotic drops or ointments to cure the infection causing eye flu. Use them regularly as advised. If allergies trigger your eye flu, use anti-allergy eye drops like Azelastine or antihistamines. This will relieve itching and redness.
Wash Hands Frequently
Eye flu virus and bacteria spread through contact with hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap before and after touching eyes. Avoid rubbing infected eyes to control spread of infection. Teach children proper hand hygiene.
Avoid Sharing Personal Items
Do not share towels, washcloths or eye makeup with anyone when you have eye flu. The virus can spread through shared personal items. Use a fresh tissue each time you wipe eyes. Discard used tissues properly in covered bins.
Clean Spectacles and Lenses
If you wear contact lenses or spectacles, clean them properly everyday with lens cleaners. Don’t share eye makeup tools like eyeliner or mascara. Viruses can remain on lenses and tools, reinfecting your eyes.
Use Cool Compresses
Applying cool compresses can soothe irritated eyes with conjunctivitis. Dip a clean cloth in cold water. Squeeze out excess water. Gently place the cool cloth over closed eyes. This reduces swelling, itching and discomfort.
Avoid Rubbing Eyes
Rubbing infected eyes can worsen inflammation and spread the infection. Try your best not to rub eyes even if they itch. Use cool compresses instead for relief. Keep nails short to avoid scratching eyes.
Use Sunglasses Outdoors
Wearing sunglasses when going out protects sensitive eyes from bright sunlight, wind and dust. This prevents further irritation and promotes healing. But avoid sharing sunglasses with others when you have an eye infection.
Take Prescribed Oral Medicines
For severe eye flu, doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics or antihistamines along with eye drops. Take the oral medicines as directed for complete treatment. This clears underlying infections causing the eye condition.
With proper eye care and hygiene, eye flu usually resolves within 1-2 weeks. See an ophthalmologist if symptoms worsen or don’t improve. Take steps to prevent spread of infection. Eye flu needs careful treatment to prevent complications and vision problems.