• How can I prevent my family from getting sore eyes?

    Dr. Rosanne Sugay tells us all about sore eyes, what causes it and what to do.
    by Rosanne Sugay, M.D. .
  • sore eyes

    Q: What is sore eyes? How can I prevent my family from getting it? If we do already have it, how can we treat it and have it heal faster?

     

    A: "Sore eyes," in the Philippines or "pink eye" in the U.S., is no fun to have whether you’re a child or a grown up.  But what is it and what causes it?  The clinical term for it is conjunctivitis and it is inflammation of the eye.  There are numerous causes, and these are the top three:

    1. INFECTION.  The one we most worry about is an infectious conjunctivitis. The infection can be caused by either a virus (the more common cause) or a bacteria (the more serious cause).  Go to your doctor to have you your child evaluated. 

    2. ALLERGIES.  These usually affect both eyes.  It is more typical when allergies run in the family.  It may be associated with a runny nose, sneezing, or other allergy symptoms.

    3. CHEMICALS.  If you or your child was exposed to something irritating or harmful to the eyes, you may get this. Also, sometimes, too much eye drops can cause a red eye.

     

    How do you avoid sore eyes? 

    If it is allergic in nature, avoid the allergen or take allergy medicine.  If it was caused by a chemical, go to the eye doctor to see if they have to flush your eyes. The type we worry about the most is the infectious kind.  Since it is hard to tell which kind you have, it is always safer to use the precautions below and consult a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

     

    Precautions

    1. Don't rub or touch your eyes.  Every time you do, you are in contact with the germs in your eyes.  When you touch something else (a keyboard, a telephone, a door knob), you are leaving some of those germs behind for the next person to experience.  If you are absolutely uncomfortable from the itching and discharge, then make sure you wash your hands immdiately.

    2.  If you wear contact lenses, don't use them until the symptoms are gone. Actually,  if you are sure it is an infection, don't reuse the same lenses, use a new pair once the conjuntivitis us gone.  If you have any eye wear, make sure you wash them well and don't share your sunglasses.

    3. If you are female and wear eye make-up and it is an infectious conjuntivitis then make sure you replace your eye make-up as well.

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    Photo from flickr.com

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