A new health concern that is surfacing amidst COVID-19 is the pink and itchy eyes. According to health experts a new symptom of XBB 1.16 variant of the COVID-19 is emerging in the form of conjunctivitis.
During the past three years the doctors and medical experts have witnessed different symptoms of COVID-19 and its sub types. However, pink eye is gaining recognition as one of the latest symptoms of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has started considering pink eye as one of the symptoms of COVID-19. As per WHO statistics, the new variant of COVID-19 has been surfacing in more than 22 countries since March 2023 and the pink eye is its major symptom*.
What is pink eye?
Pink eye is a form of conjunctivitis. It is an infection that effects the thin membrane near the eyelid and eyeball leading to inflammation and irritation in the eyes. According to doctors, one of the common symptoms of pink eye is itching and irritation in the eye accompanied with redness of the eye.
After COVID-19, as cold and cough cannot be ignored, in the same way, a slight irritation in eyes should be taken seriously. In case of irritation in the eye with extreme itching and redness, you must consult a doctor immediately. Special care should be taken in the case of young children and babies.
In India, pink eye as a symptom of COVID-19 has started emerging in the month of April.
According to health experts pink eye conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can spread from the infected person to others.
Is pink eye a serious issue?
According to doctors, eye conjunctivitis without other symptom of viral is not a concern. In children, conjunctivitis is common and parents should not worry if it is a simple eye related problem without flu symptoms.
Pink eye can be caused by bacterial or viral infection and even by allergies.
Symptoms of Pink eye related to COVID-19.
In COVID-19 cases, pink eye may exist for a week or more. A patient may suffer cloudy or blur vision with inflammation. A bacterial pink eye can be treated with eye drops that contains antibiotics. In case of viral infection, patient must use clean and cold towel to wipe the eye so that the irritation can be reduced.
Measures you should take to prevent pink eye.
Since pink eye is highly contagious and spreads at a faster rate in kids, firstly it is crucial that you ensure your child is not touching his or her eyes after touching foreign surfaces. Secondly encourage them to wash hands regularly and sanitize properly. Thirdly, make them understand that they should not share their personal items with others. These preventive measures should be followed by elders too.
Taking precautionary measures can help reduce the discomfort and suffering caused by pink eye. However, if you experience any discomfort or irritation in your eye in addition to flu like symptom you must consider taking a COVID-19 test.
*Data Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/healthcare/covid-19/got-pink-and-itchy-eyes-you-may-have-contracted-new-strain-of-covid-19/3074039/