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An eye for well-being

Exams are over in most colleges across the city and for some students, it is time to earn ‘that extra buck’ through summer jobs.

health and fitness Updated: May 03, 2010 02:16 IST
Chetna Joshi Bambroo

Summer season no doubt shrugs the burden of heavy jackets and sweaters off our shoulders, but they do bring with it number of problems including eye ailments. Here are a few little things we can do to safeguard our eyes from various infections, and also ultra-violet rays.

Conjunctivitis: Is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eyeball. Chances of eye infection are more in summers and monsoon, especially if you have been in public places, swimming or interacted with someone having conjunctivitis.

Symptoms: Redness, irritation in the eye along with discharge and watering.

How to prevent: Wear sunglasses for outdoor activities, avoid touching or rubbing your eyes; wash eye frequently with cold water; wear swimming goggles and make sure that water in the pool is regularly cleaned. If a family member has conjunctivitis, personal belongings like handkerchief, towel etc., should not be shared. See an eye specialist as it will prevent the spread of infection to other person and worsening of the eye condition.

Sty: It is an acute infection or inflammation of the secretory glands of the eyelids.

Symptoms: Swelling of the eye due to the appearance of a lump — with a visible wheatish or yellowish spot.

What to do: Keep the lids clean if you get recurrent sty (clean eyelids with diluted baby shampoo on an ear bud-once a week); can take local and oral antibiotics under medical supervision.

Eye allergies: Eye allergies such as: irritation, redness, itching etc., increase during summer season due to pollen release into air (that comes from fallen leaves from trees) and rise in temperature.

Symptoms: There is itching and redness of eyes along with burning sensation.

What to do: Wash eyes frequently; apply cold compress; wear protective eye glasses; using eye drops under supervision of an eye specialist will help in controlling the situation. Over the counter medicines should not be used as they may contain steroids and can be harmful in such situations.

Dry eyes: When there is an imbalance in the tear system, a person may experience dry eye. The condition worsens in summer due to increased temperature and rapid tear film evaporation.

What to do: People prone for dry eye have more problems with air conditioning. One can use preservative free lubricating eye drops.

Doctors suggest that never wear eye make when you are having any kind of eye infection. Make it a point to go for annual health check up. Also supplement your diet with food items rich in vitamin A and caretenoids, which are good for eyes.

With inputs from Dr Parul M Sharma, Sr Eye Surgeon, MAX Hospital