In the last week alone, the Campbellville Health Centre has seen a dramatic increase in cases of conjunctivitis better known as ‘red eye’ compared to the entire month of May. During the period June 12-16, 2017, 179 cases were recorded, as compared to 24 cases in May, 2017.
Speaking with Department of Public Information Dr Angelique Parkinson of the Campbellville Health Centre urged persons, who feel that their eyes are infected, to visit the nearest Health Centre in their Community as soon as possible.
According to the Government Information News Agency (GINA), Dr Parkinson said that, “red eye is usually a self-limiting condition which means that within a week a person will recover from the symptoms so it is better to seek care at the primary health care level rather than the emergency department of GPHC,” she urged., “For this type of condition it is best to visit the health centre closest to you rather than appearing at the emergency department of the public hospital,” she added.
Conditions of ‘red eye’ include a sandy feeling in one or both eyes, itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes, excessive tearing, discharge from one or both eyes, swollen eyelids, Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes and increased sensitivity to light.
It is important for persons who have red eye to note that if they touch their infected eyes and touch simple things the virus will spread Dr Parkinson pointed out.
Persons are advised to avoid touching eyes with your hands, wash hands frequently with soap and water, use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, avoid sharing towels, blankets and pillow cases. Persons should not use anyone else’s eye makeup, face make up, makeup brushes, contact lenses or eye glasses, and should not use swimming pools.
It is also recommended that if you have red eye you apply a cold pack to the affected eye, two to three times daily for 10-15 minutes, or use anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by a health worker.
When the conjunctiva; the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye becomes swollen or infected, it is known as Conjunctivitis, or ‘red eye’.
There are different types of Conjunctivitis.
Viral Conjunctivitis occurs with symptoms of a cold, flu, or other respiratory infections. It begins in one eye and may spread to the other eye within days and the discharge from the eye is usually watery rather than thick.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis usually begins in one eye and sometimes spreads to the other eye. Discharge is normally of pus, a yellow-green color and can occur with an ear infection.
Allergic Conjunctivitis may occur with symptoms of allergy, such as an itchy nose, sneezing, a scratchy throat, or asthma and Conjunctivitis Caused by Irritants can produce watery eyes and mucus discharge.