Tips against sore eyes: Wash your hands frequently
The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday urged the public to practice frequent hand washing and observe proper personal hygiene following the rise in the incidence of sore eyes in the country.
Health Secretary Janette Garin said the DOH has monitored reports of increasing cases of sore eyes in several parts of the country and that the agency’s promotions arm and health directors have already started issuing advisories for the prevention and proper management of the disease, medically known as conjunctivitis.
“We have heard reports of increasing sore eyes cases but we don’t get the figures because it is a non-notifiable disease,” Garin told the Inquirer on Friday.
Sore eyes, alternatively known as pink eye, is a highly contagious condition characterized by the inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva or the transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the eye surface or the white part of the eyeball.
According to the DOH advisory, sore eyes begins in one eye and may later affect both eyes.
The signs and symptoms of the disease, usually caused by either a viral or bacterial infection, manifest five to 12 days from exposure to contaminated eye secretions of an infected person.
Among the other symptoms of sore eyes are water to pus-like discharge, eyelids stuck together upon waking up and pain of the eyes upon exposure to sunlight and foreign-body solution.
See a doctor
To prevent further spread of the disease and to avoid getting infected, Garin advised the public to practice frequent hand washing and to avoid touching the eyes. She also urged those who have sore eyes to seek medical attention if their condition gets worse.
“See a doctor as soon as possible if your sore eyes seems to be having a superimposed bacterial infection,” she said.
In an advisory posted recently on social media, the DOH said sore eyes can be contracted by touching the eyes after contact with surfaces, instruments, eye solutions or makeup contaminated with the virus from an infected person.
The virus causing sore eyes can also enter through the eyes by swimming in poorly chlorinated pools, said the DOH.
Tips vs sore eyes
It also offered the following tips to prevent getting the disease: minimize hand-to-eye contact; use your own towels, eye drops, makeup and sunglasses; disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, counters, elevator buttons and handrails with diluted bleach solution; wash clothes, towels, pillow cases and anything else which may have come in contact with an infected person.
The DOH said there was no specific treatment for sore eyes during its acute phase, which usually lasts one to two weeks.
“If eye discharge is profuse and pus-like or patient develops blurring of vision or severe pain, consult with an ophthalmologist,” it said.
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