From the eyes to the tears… The reason why ‘snow disease’ often occurs during the water play season

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The sweltering heat continues. It is a time to plunge into the cool valley water or the indigo sea. At a time when more and more people go out to play in the water to escape the heat, caution is required as there is an eye disease that is easy to occur in summer resorts.

That’s conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva, which is often called the ‘white eye’, has a structure that covers the front part of the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids like a blanket. There are many blood vessels and cells in the conjunctiva, and it is ‘conjunctivitis’ that causes inflammation. Professor Bae Hyung-won of Severance Eye Hospital said, “If the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, hyperemia, edema, etc., and in some cases, pain may appear.” If it is accompanied by keratitis, it can cause visual loss.”

The most common eye disease during the swimming season is ‘viral conjunctivitis’

There are several types of conjunctivitis, but the most commonly known are ‘allergic conjunctivitis’ and ‘infectious conjunctivitis’. Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammatory eye disease caused by an immune response of the conjunctiva by a causative agent (antigen). Professor Bae said, “Depending on the causative agent, there are perennial allergic conjunctivitis that occurs throughout the year like house dust mites, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis that occurs in a specific season like spring pollen allergy. “According to this, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory drugs are used appropriately to relieve symptoms,” he said. In particular, allergic conjunctivitis has severe itching, and rubbing the eyes at this time may worsen symptoms and cause other ophthalmic diseases, he added.

Infectious conjunctivitis is divided into ‘bacterial conjunctivitis’ and ‘viral conjunctivitis’ according to the infectious bacteria. Professor Bae said, “Viral conjunctivitis is known to be caused by adenovirus and requires special attention because it can be transmitted through contact. It is characteristic that there is a lot of mucus in the eyes and tears.” If symptoms occur, visit a nearby ophthalmologist to check the exact condition, receive treatment, and be careful not to spread the disease to the surrounding area. In particular, when playing in the water, the chance of contact between people increases, and the chance of infection with the virus increases when using towels or tubes together.

Do not share towels and water cups… Symptoms usually resolve on their own

So, what is the prevention method? As with the Corona 19 quarantine rules, it is good to pay attention to personal hygiene such as washing hands, avoid crowded places as much as possible, and maintain distance. When playing in the water, wear goggles to reduce the chance of direct contact with the water, and if a foreign object gets into your eyes, use a clean towel, tissue, or cotton swab to remove it. Those who wear contact lenses must take them off when playing in the water. It is also important not to share items such as towels and water glasses with other people.

Viral conjunctivitis, like a cold, usually resolves spontaneously within 2 weeks without special treatment. However, it is better to visit an ophthalmologist and receive appropriate treatment for symptom relief and prevention of secondary infection.

When playing in the water, let’s learn the precautions to prevent conjunctivitis as well as precautions for safety accidents. Before going into the water, warm up your muscles and joints to warm up your muscles and joints, and wet the water from a place far away from your heart so that you can adapt to the cold water temperature. Chewing gum or eating while swimming should be avoided to avoid suffocation accidents, and swimming outside the scope of ability should be avoided as the water may suddenly deepen. If the structure is floating on the water, do not approach it. If you breathe in, it is difficult to get off the bottom of the structure due to buoyancy, so if you are placed under a structure, exhale to let your body sink and then swim out.

By Moon Se-young, staff reporter [email protected]

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