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Myth Busted: Did you know you cannot get eye flu by looking into the eye of infected person?

Eye Flu is the most common viral or bacterial infection, which is prevalent in the rainy season and during weather change. In India, it is one the three common seasonal flu viruses and affects 50% of Indians every year. 

It is also known as viral conjunctivitis and is highly contagious. We spoke to eye specialist Dr. VK Malik about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of the disease. 

What are the causes of eye flu?

1. It is a bacterial or viral infection or could be combined. 

2. The most common cause of eye flue is handshaking.  It is usually transmitted by touch of infected hands. There is a notion that if you see a person you will get eye flu. It is not true. It is a hand to eye infection.

3. Using common towels with the person who is infected is also the mode of transmission for eye flu.

4. Using a common swimming pool can also lead to eye flu

What are the symptoms?

1. You may have a foreign body sensation in the eyes 

2. Itching in eyes

3. Redness of eye

4. Watery discharge and stickiness in the eye

5. In some cases the patients may get sore eyes.

What is the treatment?

A doctor should be consulted immediately if you feel any discomfort in the eyes. 

Immediate treatment can speed up the healing process. The treatment includes:

1. Washing the eyes regularly with water

2. Washing hands and face with the soap

3. Wearing goggles

4. Putting plain antibiotic drops

5. Using anti-allergic drugs to stop itching

How to prevent eye flue?

The infection takes around a week to heal. It is advisable to stay indoors and in isolation when you are suffering from eye flu. Here are some of the ways you can avoid eye flu:

1. Avoid touching your eyes

2. Avoid shaking hands with the person suffering from eye flue

3. Wash your eyes and face frequently

4. When you are outdoor use hand sanitizer

Eye flu can be easily avoided and treated if you take recommended care and proper precautions.

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