The monsoon not only brings relief from the heat but also a host of infections in its wake. Here are some tips to steer clear of eye infections.

With the rain comes puddles of dirty water and eye infections soar. But, with a bit of prevention, you could stay safe, as the mercury relents.

Eyes wide shut: Close your eyes when you get soaked in the rain to screen off atmospheric pollutants. While rain water is reasonably clean be wary if you are under a tree or a building. Water that slides off can be contaminated with pollutants. Rain water can also strip away tear glands, leading to dry eyes.

Stay out of the wind: Wear light coloured glares if you have to go out during the day. Those who wear contact lens should be especially careful, as they risk their contacts being blown away.

Avoid splashing: Splashing is great fun, especially for children. But if the muck accidentally gets into your eyes, wash it off immediately with plain water and dry. If you are not carrying water then buy a bottle and clean your eyes. Many puddles contain bacteria, which can cause infections.

Emphasise hygienic practices: During the monsoon, contagious eye infections can be easily transmitted via towels, handkerchiefs, lenses, glasses and other articles handled during the course of a day. To avoid infection, ensure that you do not share personal articles with anyone else.

Do not rub eyes: Refrain from rubbing your eyes when they itch. Stye, an infection of the eyelid glands, is usually caused by frequent rubbing with unwashed/dirty hands.

Avoid swimming: Try to stay out of the pool during the rainy season since eye infections tend to increase.

Despite all precautions, if you have redness of eyes and watery discharge, see a doctor. Use antibiotic eye drops only if prescribed by an ophthalmologist. Avoid lenses when you contract an eye infection.

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