Eye Care for the Rains

In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life again, Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads, And over all the plain
The wonder spreads
In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky

Langston Hughes

Who doesn’t love the rains? Nature is bursting with colours and paints such a pretty landscape that is sheer delight for the eyes! But these very pretty rains also bring a risk of damage to your eyes. Let’s see how…
The first rains bring a smile on everyone’s face…. Including the viruses’! The moisture content in the air acts provides extremely favourable conditions for the spreading of infections.

Conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the outermost membrane of the eye) is quite common in the monsoons. Eye flu usually lasts for a week but can persist for a fortnight. Here are some tips to protect yourself:

• Maintain good personal hygiene to avoid catching an infection.
• If a family member is infected, wash eyes gently, use a cold compress, and contact your eye doctor at the earliest.
• Do not share your towels or handkerchiefs.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after administering drops to a patient suffering from conjunctivitis.
• Do not use contact lenses if you have a red eye, irritation or any abnormal discharge.
• Wear dark goggles. This does not help prevent the spread (as is commonly misunderstood; Conjunctivitis does not spread by looking at a patient). It merely serves to soothe the eyes which may have become more sensitive to strong lights.

Stye is an infection of the glands of your eyelids. This is quite common during the rainy season.

• A hot compress can provide relief.
• Avoid the use of over-the-counter eye drops especially those containing steroids. Always consult your Ophthalmologist before using any eye medications.

We all love getting wet in the rains. However, there are a few tips that can help you keep your eyes safe:
• If children have played in puddles of water, ensure that they are cleansed thoroughly as soon as they reach home and that they maintain personal hygiene.
• Use protective glasses during windy weather conditions.
• Do not touch your eyes before you wash your hands first
• Do not wipe your face with the handkerchief or towel that was used to clean your hands and body as it may encourage the spreading of the germs.
• Do not open your eyes onto raindrops on purpose. The raindrops may have absorbed many harmful pollutants from the atmosphere on the way down to your eyes. Raindrops also wash away your tear film which is your eye’s natural protective shield if they fall on your eyes directly.

Remember the following tips in general:

• Always carry your complete contact lens kit and glasses in case you get stranded somewhere due to torrential rains.
• In case you have high numbers in your eyes, keep a spare pair of glasses as a safety precaution measure.
• If you wear make-up, make sure that you do not compromise on your eyes and that you use good water proof make-up from reputed brands.
• Avoid going to a swimming pool where regular cleanliness and chlorination is questionably maintained.

As someone as aptly said, “Anyone who thinks sunshine brings happiness, has not danced in the rain”. So go ahead enjoy the monsoons and make sure you keep your eyes happy too…

You may also like to read: Child Eye Care

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