Use of antibiotics, steroids in conjunctivitis can affect eyesight: Experts

Lahore   -  Experts on Sunday warned people to avoid indiscriminate use of antibiotics and steroids to treat ‘conjunctivitis’, commonly known as pink-eye allergy, and advised them to avoid self-medication, as it may complicate the ailment or even damage the cornea.

Noted eye surgeon Dr Intzar Hussain Butt shared his recommendations with the APP, urging affected individuals to use prescribed eye drops, cold water, and tissues for eye cleansing.

Dr Butt explained that conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane, known as the conjunctiva, which lines the eyelid and covers the eyeball.

He emphasised the importance of avoiding physical contact with infected individuals and refraining from sharing personal items such as handkerchiefs, pillows, and makeup.

Dr Butt also advised the patients to wear sunglasses and take leave from their official or private duties for a few days. He warned against self-medication and gatherings and recommended frequent hand-washing with soap.

Noted senior ophthalmologist and former vice chancellor of King Edward Medical University Prof Dr Asad Aslam says that symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis include redness, streaking, swelling, itching, or burning in the eyes. 

Dr Asad Aslam said that precautionary measures were crucial to preventing the spread of the disease. He advised that due to a lack of awareness, every year thousands of cases of conjunctivitis are reported in hospitals across Pakistan, adding, especially in the months of summer and spring. Citizens should significantly lower their risk of transmitting the virus by practicing good personal hygiene and avoiding sharing items, he warned.

Replying to a query, Dr Asad Aslam said that steroids and homemade remedies sometimes provide immediate relief to patients but could cause more damage in the long run. He said people should avoid close contact with individuals who have conjunctivitis or any other eye infection.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Health Department reported over 1000 cases in Lahore hospitals’ outpatient departments in the past 24 hours. Dr Bushra from Services Hospital stated that 50 per cent of patients in the outpatient department were being treated for the infection.

Dr Bushra emphasised the importance of precautionary measures and recommended the use of eye drops. She advised affected individuals to maintain stringent hygiene practices, including keeping their personal items separate from others.

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