Have you ever had redness, itching, or irritation in your eyes? If so, you may have had ocular flu. Every year, millions of individuals are affected by the common illness known as "eye flu." An infection that affects the eyes is called viral conjunctivitis or "eye flu." Your eyes may become red, itchy, and watery as a result of this viral eye condition. Additionally, it could cause your eyes to feel unpleasant and cause a sticky discharge. Because it is contagious, the illness is easily spread from one person to another. You might contract it if you come into close contact with someone who has this eye condition or if you touch your eyes after handling surfaces or items that have the virus on them.
What is Eye Flu ?
People of all ages can get eye flu, also known as conjunctivitis, which is a common eye illness. The conjunctiva, a thin, transparent layer covering the whites of the eyes and the inner surface of the eyelids, becomes inflamed, which is how it is identified. Viruses, germs, allergies, and exposure to specific environmental irritants are just a few of the reasons for eye flu. However, with the right care and treatment, the majority of instances of eye flu recover without any lasting problems. This condition can be unpleasant and bothersome.
Types of Eye Flu
The flu can affect the eyes in a variety of ways, each with a unique origin and presentation:
The most typical form of influenza in the eyes is viral conjunctivitis, which is primarily brought on by viruses, such as adenoviruses, which are also to blame for the ordinary cold or flu. Since respiratory droplets and infected surfaces can rapidly disseminate the virus, the flu in the eyes is very contagious. Consisting of redness, irritation, watery discharge, and light sensitivity, viral conjunctivitis often impacts both eyes.
Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae are two bacteria that can infect the eyes and lead to bacterial conjunctivitis. Inadequate hand hygiene, the sharing of contaminated objects, or touching the eyes with unwashed hands can all contribute to it.In addition to crusting of the eyelids and a thick, yellow or green discharge, bacterial conjunctivitis can result in more severe symptoms than viral conjunctivitis.
Rather than being an illness, allergic conjunctivitis is brought on by an immune response to allergens including pollen, pet hair, dust mites, or certain eye drops. This specific strain of the flu in the eyes is not spreadable and usually affects both eyes. Itching, redness, tearing, and swelling of the eyelids can all be symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.
When irritants or chemicals, such as smoke, fumes, chlorine from swimming pools, or abrasive cleaning agents, come into contact with the conjunctiva, chemical conjunctivitis develops. Although this particular strain of the flu in the eyes is not contagious, it can nevertheless make the eyes red, itchy, and uncomfortable.
Causes of Eye Flu
Eye fever, sometimes referred to as conjunctivitis, is an illness that is characterised by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer that covers the whites of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids. Eye discomfort, eye redness, and eye irritation are symptoms of eye flu, which can be caused by a number of different things. To stop its spread and ensure prompt treatment, it is essential to understand the causes of the eye flu. The main causes and contributing factors of eye flu will be discussed in this article.
Infected with viruses
One of the most typical eye bug causes is viral conjunctivitis. Adenoviruses, which also cause the common cold and upper respiratory infections, are frequently to blame for the main cause of viral conjunctivitis in the eyes, which is the eye flu. It is simple to transfer viral conjunctivitis by coming into contact with respiratory droplets from an infected individual or by touching surfaces that have the virus before touching the eyes. Highly contagious and frequently affecting both eyes at once, this kind of eye flu.
One more common cause of eye flu is bacterial conjunctivitis. For this type of conjunctivitis, bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae are frequently to blame. Bacterial eye infections can happen when these germs enter the eye through a number of different channels, including bad hand hygiene, sharing infected things like towels or eye makeup, or touching the eyes with dirty hands. In comparison to viral conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis can attack one or both eyes and present with more severe symptoms.
An allergic reaction to allergens including pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mould spores, or certain eye drops can induce allergic conjunctivitis, a non-infectious version of the flu that affects the eyes. The following is a list of the main causes of eye flu for this type of allergy: Inflammation, redness, and stinging of the eyes result from the immune system's production of histamines when an allergen comes into contact with the conjunctiva. Allergy conjunctivitis, which commonly affects both eyes, is not communicable, in contrast to viral and bacterial conjunctivitis.
Stressors in the environment
Eye flu-like symptoms can be brought on by specific environmental variables causing conjunctival inflammation. Conjunctivitis and discomfort may develop temporarily as a result of exposure to smoke, air pollution, pool chlorine, and harsh chemicals. Although they can make the eyes red, itchy, and watery, these irritants are not contagious and do not pass from one person to another.
People who use contacts might also be more likely to have eye flu, particularly if they don't practise good cleanliness. A conjunctivitis-causing virus or dangerous bacteria can enter the eyes through contaminated contact lenses or lens casings. To reduce their risk of developing eye infections, contact lens wearers must follow strict hygiene procedures that include regular lens replacement and proper lens cleaning and disinfection.
Conjunctivitis in newborns
Newborn conjunctivitis is mostly caused by the eye flu, which is frequently the result of an infection contracted during birth. To avoid difficulties and safeguard the infant's vision, this ailment, also known as newborn conjunctivitis or ophthalmia neonatorum, needs to be treated by a doctor right away.
Symptoms of Eye Flu
Depending on the reason, the symptoms of flu in the eyes can vary. These are a few typical signs:
Irritability and colour
The eyes' redness and irritation are two of the main flu-related ocular symptoms. Because of the dilated blood vessels in the eyes brought on by the conjunctiva's inflammation, the eyes appear pink or red. There could be a foreign object in the eyes, which could make them feel scratchy or irritating. After resting or in the mornings, these redness and irritation are frequently more apparent.
Another typical eye symptom of the flu is excessive tear production that results in wet or tearful eyes. The main cause of watery eyes associated with the eye flu is conjunctival inflammation, which can activate the tear ducts and lead to an excess of tears. It might be difficult to carry out regular tasks when one has watery eyes because they can cause discomfort and poor vision.
As a result of the flu, some people may develop photophobia, a condition where light sensitivity affects the eyes. People who are exposed to bright lights or sunshine may experience eye pain and discomfort, which may drive them to squint or cover their eyes with their hands.
Release from the Eyes
One telltale sign of bacterial conjunctivitis is a thick, sticky discharge coming from the eyes, especially when you first wake up. It can make the eyelids cling together and is frequently yellow or greenish in colour. Watery or clear discharge from the eyes is another symptom of viral conjunctivitis.
A gritty or sandy sensation, as if there were debris in the eyes, is a common flu-related symptom for some people. It might be annoying to experience this grittiness, which is frequently brought on by conjunctivitis.
Eyelids getting crusty
Crusts may form around the eyelids in cases of bacterial conjunctivitis as a result of the discharge from the eyes drying and hardening overnight. Because of these crusts, some people may have trouble opening their eyes when they first wake up.
Increased Eyelid Swelling
Particularly when brought on by allergens, eyelid swelling is a potential sign of eye flu. The eyes may appear puffy and swollen as a result of allergic conjunctivitis, which can cause eyelid edoema.
Blinking with discomfort
Conjunctival inflammation brought on by the eye virus may cause discomfort or agony for those who are blinking. The inflammation may worsen and make you feel worse if you blink.
Conjunctivitis, often known as eye flu, is a common ailment that affects the eyes and may be brought on by allergies, bacterial or viral infections, or irritants in the environment. When people are aware of the causes, symptoms, and available treatments, they are better able to take preventative action and seek medical care when it is necessary. You may lessen your risk of getting the eye flu and have clear, comfortable vision by practising excellent hygiene and being aware of your surroundings.