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Public urged to seek medical treatment for conjunctivitis

January 22, 2019 11:55 am
[Source: The Merck Manuals]

The Health Ministry has noted an increase in the number of conjunctivitis commonly known as ‘cika’ in Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi, Ba, Lautoka, and Savusavu.

Conjunctivitis is a common and usually mild infection of the eye caused by viruses, bacteria or allergies.

It causes inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva – the thin layer that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.

It usually begins in one eye and spreads to the other eye within days and is highly contagious.

Some of the Symptoms of conjunctivitis include, pink or red colour in the white of the eye, swelling of the conjunctiva, increased watery eyes, itching, irritation, or burning, discharge of pus, crusting of eyelids or lashes and sensitivity to bright light.

The Ministry says the infection will usually clear up in 7 -14 days without treatment and without any long-term effects. But, there are times when it’s important to seek medical care.

Artificial tears and cold packs may be used to relieve the dryness and inflammation caused by conjunctivitis.

Fijians are urged to wash their hands with soap and water, avoid touching or rubbing their eyes, wash any discharge from around the eyes several times a day.

Wash hands after applying eye drops or ointment. Do not use the same eye drop for infected and non-infected eyes and clean eyeglasses.

Wash pillowcases, sheets, washcloths, and towels in hot water and detergent – avoid sharing articles like towels, blankets, and pillowcases.

Fijians are also advised not to share eye makeup and not to use swimming pools.