Eye Flu

Defeating Eye Flu: Causes, Treatment, & Prevention Strategies

What Is Eye Flu

Bacterial and Viral Infections are very common in warm and humid conditions. They can cause upper respiratory infections like cold, cough and gastroenteritis etc. They also cause eye problem known as “Viral Conjunctivitis or Eye Flu”

What is Eye Flu?

Eye flu or viral conjunctivitis, is an eye infection or allergy that makes the eyes red, itchy, and watery. It can also lead to a sticky discharge and make your eyes feel uncomfortable. It is contagious, which means this disease can pass from person to person easily. You can be affected just by touching your eyes after touching surfaces or objects that have the adenovirus on them, or by close contact with someone who has this eye problem.

Common Causes of Viral Conjunctivitis

Common Causes of Eye Flu

1. Viral Infections

Viruses spread most eye flu cases. Eye infections can be caused by Adenoviruses and enteroviruses entering the conjunctiva. They cause eye inflammation and redness. These viral infection are contagious, so avoid crowds and close contact.

2. Bacterial infections

Eye flu symptoms can also be caused by bacterias. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus can infect the conjunctiva, causing bacterial conjunctivitis.

3. Poor Hygiene and Sharing Personal Items

Using someone else's towels, makeup, or eye drops can spread infections. Poor hygiene practices and compromised immune systems may increase its transmission risk further.

Most Common Symptoms of Viral Conjunctivitis

Most Common Symptoms of Viral Conjunctivitis
  • Redness: The eyes may look pink or bloodshot due to the inflammation caused by the viral infection.
  • Foreign Body Sensation: Feel something has entered in your eye.
  • Itching: The affected eyes may face continuous itching, leading to discomfort and rubbing.
  • Watering: Excess watery discharge is a common symptom of this eye disease.
  • Discharge: The eyes may produce a sticky, yellowish discharge, especially after waking up. Overnight, the crusts may form around the eyelids as the fluid dries and hardens. People may have trouble opening their eyes when they wake up because of these crusts.
  • Lid Swelling: There might be swelling in the upper eyelid and face as well.
  • Sensitivity to Light: A few individuals may experience sensitivity to light, known as photophobia.
  • Blurred Vision: In rare cases, it can cause temporary blurred vision or a gritty sensation in the eyes.

Along with these symptoms, you might have sore throat, cough, headache and at times fever too.

Prevention and Hygiene Practices

Protect yourself and others from contracting this eye allergy by adopting these hygiene practices to minimize the risk of infection:

Tips to Prevent Eye Flu
  • Soap and water should be used regularly to clean hands for at least 20 seconds prior to touching any facial features or eyes, including touching or rubbing them. Touching eyes directly may introduce viruses and bacteria.
  • Utilize tissues or elbow while coughing or sneezing. It will help prevent respiratory droplets from spreading further.
  • Prevention and Hygiene Practices Avoid sharing personal items like towels, cosmetics, or any other items that might come into contact with someone else's eyes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces on an ongoing basis. Make sure to sanitize surfaces that come into regular contact, such as sunglasses, doorknobs, countertops and electronic devices like remote, smartphones, tablets and computers.
  • If you wear contact lenses, be sure to practice good Contact Lens hygiene, such as disinfecting and replacing them according to the schedule.

Eye Flu Treatment Options

Mostly patients get relief within 15 days. Eye flu should be differentiated from eye allergy as initial presentation is same for both. You can get the following treatments options to alleviate symptoms and speed healing time:

Effective Treatment Options
  • Cold Compresses: Applying cold compresses directly to your eyes may help alleviate redness, swelling, and itching.
  • Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter artificial tears offer temporary relief from dryness and discomfort.
  • Lubricating Ointments: Your doctor may prescribe lubricating ointments to keep the eyes moist and prevent further irritation.
  • Antibiotic & Steroid Eye Drops: For severe cases antibiotic eye drops along with steroid eye drops are used to reduce inflammation associated with this flu though they should only be used under medical supervision.

Do not use eye drops without consulting an eye specialist. Book an Appointment today!

Home Remedies for Eye Flu

Although medical treatment is necessary, home remedies may provide additional comfort and assist the healing process. Such remedies include:

Home Remedies for Eye Flu
  • Cold Compresses: Cold compresses can provide soothing relief from eye strain and discomfort.
  • Avoid Rubbing: Avoid rubbing your eyes as this can aggravate conjunctivitis symptoms further and worsen them.
  • Avoid Irritants: Avoid smoke, dust and other sources that could aggravate symptoms.
  • Proper rest and sleep: Allow your body to recover while strengthening your immune system to combat this eye infection.
  • Maintain Hygiene: Maintaining proper hygiene at home will prevent spreading this eye infection to other family members.

Oral Medications for This Eye Problem

Your Eye Care doctor may prescribe medication to treat its symptoms and speed recovery. Such remedies could include:

  • Antihistamines: Over-the-counter antihistamines may provide temporary relief by relieving itching and decreasing allergic responses associated with this eye infection.
  • Pain Relievers: OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help ease headaches or general discomfort, such as an eye ache.

When to Visit an Eye Doctor

You must visit an eye specialist as soon as the symptoms start. Eye doctor will confirm the diagnosis and differentiate from allergies. You must isolate from other family members to prevent it.

Eye Flu in Children & Adults

Flu can affect individuals of all ages from infants to adult. They are especially prone to contracting this eye infection due to close contact at school. Children should not go to school and office going should not go to office to prevent infection.

Eye Flu in Children

Therefore, it is crucial that children should learn proper hygiene practices such as not touching their eyes for maximum protection from infection. If your child develops its symptoms it is essential that they see their eye specialist for guidance and advice regarding treatment and care.

Eye Flu and Contact Lenses

It is crucial for those wearing contact lenses, should stop wearing contact lens until you overcome eye flu. Replace Lenses, solution as well as cover to prevent reinfection.

Eye Flu and Contact Lenses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs related to Cataract Removal
Que 1: Can this infection be avoided?

Ans: It can be prevented through practicing good hygiene practices such as regularly washing hands, not touching eyes directly, and disinfecting surfaces regularly. Furthermore, it's also wise to limit close contact with individuals with active eye infections.

Que 2: How long does this infection usually last?

Ans: Viral Conjunctivitis typically lasts one to two weeks. However, the exact duration can depend on its severity as well as individual immunity.

Que 3: Should I Wear Makeup When Suffering From this eye infection?

Ans: In general, it is wise to avoid eye cosmetics during an outbreak of this flu as their use could worsen symptoms and increase the risk for reinfection.

Que 4: Will it lead to permanent vision loss?

Ans: In general, this infection does not lead to long-term vision loss; however, severe or untreated cases may result in complications that impact vision negatively.

Que 5: Are antiviral medications always necessary?

Ans: In most cases, its symptoms will resolve themselves with time without needing antiviral eye drops. However, in cases involving severe infections caused by specific virus, then antiviral medications will be required by an eye specialist.

Que 5: How do you treat eye flu naturally?

Ans: Natural remedies for eye flu include applying cold compresses, practicing good hygiene, avoiding eye rubbing, and using lubricating drops. However, consult an eye specialist for proper guidance.

Que 5: Does eye flu spread by looking?

Ans: No, eye flu doesn't spread by looking at someone. It typically spreads through contact with infected fluids or surfaces.

Que 5: What is the reason for eye flu?

Ans: Viruses, bacteria are the main reasons of Eye Flu.

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