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Representative image

‘Madras Eye’ cases on the rise in city

We need to determine which kind of conjunctivitis or eye infection it is and then treat it,” said Dr G Aravind, consultant ophthalmologist, Government Eye Hospital.

CHENNAI: Chennai is currently witnessing a rapid rise in the cases of conjunctivitis or Madras Eye, especially among children. Every year, these cases see mild surge when the monsoon season comes to a close, but this year, the prolonged rainfall in the city has further increased the caseload.

“More than 20% of our walk-in patients in recent weeks have been diagnosed with conjunctivitis. However, cases of allergic conjunctivitis and conjunctivitis are also emerging due to chemicals or irritants but it does not spread from person to person,” said Dr Kala Devi R, Senior Ophthalmologist and Zonal Head Clinical Services, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.

The contagious viral infection, which causes swelling and inflammation among some patients, has been taking longer to heal. In some people, it quickly spreads to the second eye as well, I see at least five new patients with this problem daily,” she said. Doctors say that though conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, it can develop into a more serious problem, if not diagnosed correctly. “Self-medication should be avoided. People tend to consider it a minor infection and also try over the counter eye drops. However, if the correct medication is not taken timely, the infection can progress and harm the eye. We need to determine which kind of conjunctivitis or eye infection it is and then treat it,” said Dr G Aravind, consultant ophthalmologist, Government Eye Hospital.

Since conjunctivitis spreads rapidly in closed environments like schools and offices, people should not venture out until the watery discharge is completely stopped.

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