Eye flu is taking a toll - Know it all here


14 Aug 2023

Explore the Impact of Eye Flu: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

As the world battles various health challenges, one often overlooked ailment that continues to affect millions is eye flu, medically known as conjunctivitis. This common yet highly contagious eye infection can disrupt daily life and cause discomfort. Let's ensure you're well-equipped to protect your eyes and those of your loved ones with this article.

Understanding eye flu

Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as eye flu, is an inflammation of the thin, transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. The viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and easily spread through direct or indirect contact. It can be caused by various factors, including viruses, bacteria, allergies and irritants.

Symptoms to watch out for

Identifying eye flu is crucial for prompt treatment and containment. In viral cases, the symptoms usually begin in one eye and then spread to the other within a few days. Common symptoms include redness in the white part of the eye, excessive tearing, itchiness, a gritty sensation and the formation of a yellow or green discharge, which can cause eyelids to stick together overnight.

Causes of eye flu

  • Viral conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and tends to spread easily, especially in crowded environments like schools and offices. Often associated with the common cold, this form is caused by adenoviruses.

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis

Typically caused by bacteria like Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, bacterial conjunctivitis leads to more noticeable discharge and crusty eyelids upon waking up.

  • Allergic conjunctivitis

Seasonal allergens like pollen can trigger this type, causing redness, itchiness and watery eyes. Unlike viral and bacterial forms, it's not contagious.

  • Prevention measures

Preventing the spread of eye flu requires a combination of personal hygiene and awareness.

Some essential preventive steps

  • Frequent handwashing to avoid touching the eyes with contaminated hands.

  • Avoiding close contact with infected individuals.

  • Refraining from sharing personal items like towels, makeup or contact lenses.

  • Properly cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses before wearing them.

  • Using tissues to cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing to prevent the virus from reaching the eyes.

Treatment options

The appropriate treatment for eye flu depends on its cause:

  • Since viral infections don't respond to antibiotics, treatment mainly involves relieving symptoms through warm compresses, artificial tears and antihistamines.

  • Applying a warm compress to the affected eye can help ease discomfort. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are commonly prescribed to treat bacterial conjunctivitis.

  • Antihistamine eye drops, artificial tears and cold compresses can provide relief from symptoms. Avoiding allergens is key.

When to seek medical help

Seek professional help if you experience severe eye pain, vision changes, sensitivity to light or a worsening of symptoms despite home care efforts. While most cases of eye flu can be managed at home, certain signs warrant medical attention. In infants, any signs of eye discomfort or discharge should be addressed by a healthcare provider.


Eye flu, though often perceived as a minor ailment, can disrupt daily routines and lead to uncomfortable symptoms. By understanding its causes, symptoms, and prevention methods, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from this contagious infection. Remember, healthy eyes contribute significantly to a better quality of life, and taking care of them should be a top priority. To know more, visit kotak general insurance.

Related blogs

Everything you need to know about Monkey pox

Strengthening health insurance coverage for Hepatitis care

Monsoon fevers that need your attention

Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.