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19 Sep 2014
Doctors sound red alert after rise in rare eye infection cases

19 Sep 2014

Hindustan Times (Mumbai)

Tasneem Kausar htfornavimumbai@hindustantimes.com

CLOUDED VISION Symptoms are similar to viral conjunctivitis, infection spreads as monsoon recedes

DR VANDANA JAIN, cornea specialist, Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, Sanpada MICROSPORIDIOSIS IS AN EYE CONDITION CAUSED BY A PARASITE, WHICH TENDS TO AFFECT THE CORNEA IN THE FORM OF SMALL SUPERFICIAL RAISED WHITISH INFILTRATES.

VASHI: Come monsoon, and the city witnesses a spurt in eye infection cases, mostly viral conjunctivitis claim city doctors.

But according to eye specialists in the city, a rare eye infection called has been masquerading as viral conjunctivitis.

Ironically, both the eye infections show similar symptoms – redness, watering, blurry vision, discomfort in the eye and sensitivity to light.

As a result, there is a high possibility of a patient who has contracted Microsporidiosis may end up seeking treatment for conjunctivitis.

Twelve-year-old Aryan Bhatia (name changed), a student, had a similar experience.

“When I developed red eyes, I visited my local practitioner for treatment. Despite the medication, the condition of my eyes did not improve. My general practitioner then referred me to an eye specialist, who examined me and told me that the redness of my eyes was not owing to viral conjunctivitis,” said Bhatia.

According to Dr Vandana Jain, cor nea specialist at Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute (AEHI), Sanpada, “At our hospital, we have been seeing a steady rise in the number of such cases in the past two weeks. Interestingly, all were erroneously receiving the treatment for viral conjunctivitis before approaching us. This infection spreads as the monsoon recedes.”

“Microsporidiosis is an eye condition caused by a parasite, which tends to affect the cornea in the form of small superficial raised whitish infiltrates. T hese l esions chang e t he location and shape and tend to resolve over a few weeks,” said Dr Jain.

So how is the infection treated? “All we ophthalmologists do is remove these lesions with a cotton bud and give preventive antibiotic eye drops. We repeat this procedure several times before it heals completely,” said Dr jain.

Authored By: Tasneem Kausar