By Yashim Katurak Rebecca
Head, Department of Ophthalmology, Garki Hospital, Abuja, Dr Sewuese Bitto has alerted residents on the possible upsurge in cases of Apollo eye infection due to the gradual change from rainy to dry weather.
Bitto said on Monday in Abuja that the infection was largely associated with changes in weather conditions, urging the public to maintain good eye hygiene.
Bitto, who is also a Consultant Ophthalmologist, said that maintaining good eye hygiene would help prevent infections, limit the spread and speed up the healing process for those already infected.
He urged the public to protect themselves from persons who already have red eyes and advised those already infected to seek prompt medical assistance from an eye specialist.
“Usually when the rainy season is about to change to dry we see them more and when the dry season is about to usher in the rainy season we also see these cases a lot.
“This period is usually the peak period for the endemic conjunctivitis that is the ‘Apollo’.
“When this period begins to come around we need to put in place precautionary measures to prevent any occurrence or if we have been infected to manage the condition properly.
“For those who are not infected they need to limit contact with people who have red eyes and for those who already have the condition they are encouraged to see an eye specialist immediately.
“They need to ensure they observe high levels of good ocular hygiene; you do not go about putting your hand in your eyes and shaking everybody.
“You should not use old handkerchief, you keep dabbing it in your eyes and then put back into your pocket doing this over and over again. Such act is not acceptable and should not be encouraged.
“Those already infected should rather use tissue paper or wipes where they can use and discard immediately. Such lifestyle will help reduce the spread,” Bitto said.
She also advised infected persons to always observe frequent hand and face washing and wear dark glasses to limit contact with other people.
She further advised them to change their bedding’s frequently.
Bitto said that if good hygiene was maintained coupled with the medications prescribed from the specialists, the infection could be curtained and the spread limited.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eye lid.
It makes the eye appear pink or reddish; there may also be pain, burning and itchiness. Swelling of the white part of the eye may also occur.
Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes.