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Cases of severe eye flu on rise in city

With change in weather,more patients are pouring in at city-based eye hospitals and are complaining prolonged redness and itching in eyes.

With change in weather,more patients are pouring in at city-based eye hospitals and are complaining prolonged redness and itching in eyes.

Doctors call it an Adenoviral KeratoConjunctivitis,a more severe form of viral eye flu.

Within a week,about 30-40 cases of Adenoviral KeratoConjunctivitis have been reported at PGIMER,around 20-30 patients at Fortis and similar is the situation at other private ophthalmologists’ clinics in the city since September.

Dr Amit Gupta,eye specialist,PGIMER said,“Last week,around 30-40 patients with Adenoviral visited the eye department of PGI. The number has increased with the changing weather”.

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The eye flu starts off as if something has fallen into the eye,leading to swelling of the eyelids,watery eyes and then redness.

Adenoviral Keratoconjunctivitis is different from normal eye flu in the the sense that it is more prolonged,more severe and can lead to a chronic problem. “Usual eye flu lasts for two to three days,but in this case the usual course is 10-14 days. It starts with one eye and in 90 per cent cases another eye also gets infected,” the doctor added. The doctor adviced,“If the redness persists for more than seven days then the person must visit a good ophthalmologist,as after 7 days white patches on the cornea will start appearing. It may lead to decrease in eyesight,blurry vision,coloured halos around the light at night and difficulty during driving during night.”

Dr Mukesh Vats,Ophthalmology consultant at Fortis hospital said,“The Adenoviral KeratoConjunctivitis is very severe these days which is also impacting the cornea of the patients. Daily we come across around 5-6 patients who are infected with the viral.

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This conjunctivitis is more complicated because it involves cornea and if left untreated can lead to loss of eye sight also.”

He said that it is contagious and spreads from surface to eye contact/person to person contact,swimming in infected water,ophthalmologist’s infected instruments. It does not spread merely by looking at the infected person,as per common belief.

Dr Abha,of JP eye institute said that the eye flu is quite prevalent this season,at our clinic daily 4-5 patients come with the problem.

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“People suffering from the viral should wash their hands frequently,especially after touching the eyes. One shouldn’t share towels or pillows basically any things that touches eyes. They must visit qualified eye specialist with in few days to avoid any complications,” she advices.

First published on: 06-10-2013 at 01:27 IST
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