Chennai

Rise in incidence of ‘Madras Eye’ in Chennai

Conjunctivitis is usually a viral or bacterial infection of the conjunctiva — the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball.

Conjunctivitis is usually a viral or bacterial infection of the conjunctiva — the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball.  

Consulting an eye specialist and prompt treatment important, say doctors.

Conjunctivitis, popularly known as ‘Madras Eye’, is back in the city. In the last few weeks, ophthalmologists have been witnessing a rise in the number of patients reporting symptoms of conjunctivitis.

Every day, the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and Government Ophthalmic Hospital is receiving 15 to 20 persons with conjunctivitis at its out-patient department. Its director, M. Anand Babu, said, “Conjunctivitis usually occurs during October and November, and April and May. The number of cases is quite high now.”

S. Soundari, senior consultant, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals, said the incidence of conjunctivitis was rising rapidly, especially among children in the city, following the onset of winter. Over 20% of their walk-in patients in the recent weeks were diagnosed with conjunctivitis, she said in a press release.

Common symptoms

Conjunctivitis is usually a viral or bacterial infection of the conjunctiva — the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball, she said, adding that the common symptoms were irritation, watering, red eyes, sticky discharge and sensitivity to light. When the cornea is infected, it could result in blurred vision. She added that it was important to consult eye specialists for correct diagnosis and prompt treatment, avoiding self-medication.

Rise in incidence of ‘Madras Eye’ in Chennai
 

Ophthalmologists said conjunctivitis was highly contagious, and could easily spread from one person to another. Care should be taken not to use personal belongings, such as towels and pillow covers, of those affected with conjunctivitis, so that spread of the infection can be prevented.

Dr. Anand Babu added if a child was affected with conjunctivitis, it was important to stay away from school so that it does not spread to others. “Wash the eyes with warm water. Consult an ophthalmologist and get eye drops to treat the condition,” he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 22, 2020 4:10:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/with-onset-of-winter-rise-in-incidence-of-madras-eye/article29719841.ece

Next Story