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Causes, symptoms & how to prevent red eye disease

The disease which has hit Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has now been reported in Mombasa

Redeyes

Over the past few days, there has been a growing concern about the increasing cases of red eye diseases, which have become common around the coastal city of Mombasa.

The highly contagious disease was has been recorded in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and has since been reported in Kenya.

Characterized by the telltale redness of the eye, this condition, formally known as conjunctivitis, has caused panic.

In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the red eye disease.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and allergens.

Bacterial infections, notably strains of bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, also contribute to the initiation of conjunctivitis. Additionally, irritants like smoke, dust, or chemicals can trigger the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear layer covering the white part of the eye.

Identifying the red eye disease hinges on recognizing its distinctive symptoms. The most apparent sign is, unsurprisingly, the redness of the eye due to blood vessels becoming dilated and inflamed.

Beyond the obvious discoloration, individuals may experience itching, a gritty sensation, excessive tearing, and pain.

The eyes may discharge a watery or mucous-like substance, leading to the formation of crusts, particularly after sleep. Sensitivity to light can also accompany the condition, intensifying the discomfort.

Occasionally, some patients may experience blurred vision, headaches, and a running nose.

Red eye has no specific treatment as it usually disappears one to two weeks after the patient has been infected.

However, preventive measures can be adopted to prevent the spread and escalation of the disease.

  1. Regularly wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Avoid touching and rubbing eyes.
  3. Avoid touching the face.
  4. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and makeup kits.
  5. Because it's contagious, cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing.
  6. In environments where irritants like dust, chemicals, or smoke abound, wearing protective eyewear can serve as a formidable shield.
  7. If you are prone to allergies, promptly address allergic reactions with antihistamines or other prescribed medications.

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