By Gloria Abutu
A medical expert has cautioned against the use of harmful substances in the eyes in order to preserve vision.
An opthalmologist from the Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital, Yola, Dr. Shehu Umar Bello gave the warning while speaking to Fombina News on the outbreak of Conjunctivitis in Adamawa state.
According to Dr. Shehu Umar Bello, Acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, popularly referred to as , ‘Apollo’ in Nigeria, is caused by a group of micro organisms known as viruses.
The Opthalmologist added that the disease is easily transmitted through close contact, and exchange of secretion from the eyes by sharing of personal items.
Dr. Bello noted that the disease is highly contagious with symptoms including sudden redness of the eye, pain, photophobia, tearing, discharge and matting of the eye lashes.
He added that the infection is usually temporary and often resolves quickly with the use of pain reliever.
According to the Opthalmologist, “Conjunctivitis is a self-limiting infection. It usually goes away by itself and often lasts between 10 days to 2 weeks. However, if the patient has discomfort, it can be symptomatically treated with the use of cold compress to reduce pain, antibiotics and pain reliever.”
“The major issue with the disease is its contagious nature as it can be transmitted between people that live in over crowded areas or sharing items,” he added.
Dr. Bello however warned against harmful practices such as the use of petrol, salt, and other chemicals which according to him, can impede vision.
“Some people use petrol, others use urine from camel while some use salt, some use Moringa. These can injure the eyes. The cornea is a soft tissue, those chemicals can melt the cornea and cause ulcer which can lead to reduction in vision after the disease is gone,” he warned.
To prevent spread of Conjunctivitis, the medical expert recommended frequent hand washing, avoiding handshake, isolation and practicing proper hygiene to reduce transmission of the disease.