What is EyeFlu?
Eye flu, also called viral conjunctivitis, is an eye illness caused by a virus. Viruses cause this eye problem, which can make your eyes red, itch, and sweat. It can also make your eyes feel itchy and cause a sticky discharge. It is contagious, which means that it is easy for this disease to spread from one person to another. You could get it by touching your eyes after touching surfaces or items that have the virus on them or by being close to someone who has this eye problem.
Common Causes of Eye flu (Viral Conjunctivitis)
Most of the time, the eye flu is caused by a virus. Adenoviruses, enteroviruses, and herpes simplex viruses are the most common types of viruses that cause conjunctivitis. These are easy to spread through direct contact, droplets in the air, or contaminated items. However, overcrowding, bad hygiene, and immune systems that aren’t working well may make it easier for these to spread.
Most Common Symptoms of Eye flu
- Redness: Inflammation from the virus can turn the eyes pink or bloodshot.
- Itching: Itching may cause irritation and pain in affected eyes.
- Watering: Excess watery discharge is a common symptom of this eye disease.
- Discharge: After waking up, the eyes may release a sticky, yellowish fluid.
- Sensitivity to Light: A few individuals may experience sensitivity to light, known as photophobia.
- Blurred Vision: It can cause temporary blurred vision or gritty eyes in rare circumstances.
Prevention & Hygiene Practices from Eye Flu
You and other people can avoid getting this eye problem by following these cleanliness rules, which will reduce the risk of infection:
- Soap and Water should be used: Before touching your face or eyes, including touching or rubbing them, you should always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Viruses and germs could be spread by touching the eyes directly.
- Utilize Tissues or Elbow: Using a towel or coughing into your elbow when you cough or sneeze will help keep respiratory droplets from going further.
- Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Don’t let anyone use your towels, makeup, or anything else that could come in touch with your eyes.
- Clean and Disinfect Surfaces: Make sure to clean and disinfect areas that people touch often, like doorknobs, countertops, and electronics, on a regular basis.
- Practice Good Contact Lens Hygiene: If you wear contact lenses, be sure to follow proper hygiene practices, such as disinfecting and replacing them according to schedule.
Effective Treatment Options
Most cases go away on their own in two to four weeks, so you don’t need to see a doctor. However, there are a number of useful treatments that can ease symptoms and speed healing, such as:
- Cold Compresses: If your eyes are red, swollen, or itchy, putting a cold cloth on them directly may help. Artificial tears are available over-the-counter and temporarily help with dry eyes and pain.
- Lubricating Ointments: Your doctor might suggest putting lubricating ointments in your eyes to keep them moist and stop more discomfort.
- Antiviral Eye Drops: For severe cases or when specific viral causes have been identified, antiviral eye drops may be prescribed in order to combat an infection and restore vision.
- Steroid Eye Drops: Inflammation caused by this flu can be treated with steroid eye drops, but they should only be used under a doctor’s supervision and as a last option
Home Remedies for Eye Flu
Even though you need medical care, home cures may help you feel better and speed up the healing process. Some of these solutions are:
- Warm Compresses: By switching between warm and cold cloths, eye strain and pain can be soothed.
- Saline Solution: If you mix salt with purified water to make a saline solution, you can use it to rinse your eyes and clean them at the same time.
- Tea Bags: Place cooled chamomile or green tea bags over your closed eyes to ease redness and swelling.
- Proper rest and sleep allow your body to recover while strengthening your immune system to combat this eye infection.
Medications For Viral Conjunctivitis
Your eye doctor may give you medicine to treat the symptoms and help you get better faster. These solutions could be:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines you can buy over-the-counter may help temporarily by stopping the itching and reducing allergic reactions caused by this eye infection.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can also help reduce redness, swelling, and pain in the eye itself.
- Pain Relievers: Pain medicines you can buy over-the-counter, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may help with headaches or general pain, like an eyeache.
Eye Flu in Children
Flu can affect people of all ages, even young ones. Because they spend so much time together at school and daycare, they are more likely to get this eye infection.
To avoid getting sick as much as possible, it is important for kids to learn good health habits like not touching their eyes. If your kid shows signs of it, you must take them to their pediatrician for help and advice on how to treat and care for them.
Eye Flu and Contact Lenses
When you have this eye issue, it is very important to take extra steps if you wear contact lenses. If you want to prevent problems, follow these rules:
- Discontinue Lens Wear: Stop wearing contact lenses temporarily until an infection clears up and an eye doctor tells you it’s okay to wear them again.
- Clean and Disinfect: Properly clean and disinfect your contact lenses per instructions from the eye care provider.
- Replace Lens Case: If you wore contacts while you were sick, throw away your lens case and get a new one right away to avoid getting sick again.
How can I avoid getting this infection?
You can avoid it by practicing good cleanliness, like washing your hands often, not touching your eyes directly, and cleaning surfaces often. Also, you should avoid getting too close to people who have ongoing eye infections.
How long does an infection like this normally last?
Most of the time, viral conjunctivitis lasts between one and two weeks. But the exact length can vary on how bad it is and on each person’s situation.
Should I put on makeup even though I have an eye infection?
During an attack of this flu, it’s best not to wear eye makeup because it could make your symptoms worse and make you more likely to get it again.
Will it cause me to lose my eyesight for good?
In most cases, this infection does not cause long-term vision loss. However, if the infection is severe or not addressed, it could lead to complications that hurt vision.
Do you always need to take antiviral drugs?
Most of the time, you won’t need antiviral eye drops because the symptoms will go away on their own. However, if you have a serious infection caused by a certain virus, your doctor may give you antiviral eye drops.