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Pink eye infection: Don’t self-medicate, warns health expert

A doctor (left) examines a patient suffering from an eye infection at a hospital in Lahore on September 27, 2023. — AFP

Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Dr Jamal Nasir Saturday warned the public against resorting to self-medication amid the prevailing conjunctivitis “pink eye” outbreak in the province.

Talking to PTV news, Dr Nasir advised the patients to use prescribed eye drops and tissues for cleansing their eyes. He also highlighted the significance of using hand sanitisers as precautionary measures against the highly contagious infection.

The minister warned the public to refrain from self-medication as it can be injurious to their eyes.

Commenting on the conjunctivitis outbreak in the province, Dr Nasir said that the pink-eye infection is spreading rapidly in densely populated cities where people are exposed to unfriendly environments, such as factories, bazaars, markets, and shopping plazas.

Accentuating the safety guidelines issued by the health department the minister said: “The Punjab health department has alerted all hospitals of the province to make maximum arrangements in their ophthalmology and outpatient departments.”

The health department has already issued safety guidelines to deal with the disease, he added.

To another question, he said all patients with eye diseases should visit government hospitals where the eye specialists had been asked to remain on duty.

Pink eye cases near 100,000 mark in Punjab

Viral conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye’ cases spiked to nearly 100,000 in Punjab in just a few days, raising alarms over the extremely contagious infection, which in rare cases can cause the cornea to become chronically inflamed, leading to permanent vision problems.

According to the sources within the health department, as many as 10,269 cases of eye infection have been reported in the last 24 hours, exceeding the 90,000 mark.

The highest number of pink eye cases were reported in Bahawalpur with 1,540 people suffering from the infection. Meanwhile, 1,132 have been reported in Faisalabad, 1,048 in Multan 608 in Rahim Yar Khan, and 452 patients in Lahore. 

Conjunctivitis usually affects both eyes and makes them: 

  • Red
  • Burn or feel gritty
  • Produce pus that sticks to lashes
  • Itch
  • Water

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