As the country witnessed heavy rainfall and flooding over the past few weeks, MediBuddy, India’s largest digital healthcare platform, has reported a significant increase in the number of conjunctivitis and eye flu-related cases. According to the data, there is an increasing trend in patients seeking medical advice for various eye-related problems. The most frequently reported issues include conjunctivitis, red eye with watering, discharge, and sticky lids in the morning. The platform reported a substantial increase in overall Ophthalmology consultations, surging from 1% last year to 2.6%, marking a significant 137% rise. Most cases are linked to conjunctivitis among young adults aged between 25 and 35 years, with an increase of 49%.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as ‘pink eye,’ is an eye infection caused by viruses or bacteria that lead to inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eye’s white part and the eyelids’ inner surface. The condition can be transmitted through direct contact with infected individuals, contaminated objects, or respiratory droplets. It can also have seasonal patterns, with some types more prevalent during specific times of the year. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness and inflammation of the eyes, itchiness and irritation, crusty eyelids – particularly after waking up, and a gritty sensation.
Dr. Gowri Kulkarni, Head of Medical Operations, MediBuddy says, “With the onset of the rainy season, we have seen a significant increase in consultations for conjunctivitis. Individuals need to stay vigilant about the symptoms and seek immediate doctor consultation. Conjunctivitis, though typically resolving independently, can be caused by different factors, and accurate diagnosis is crucial to prevent its spread and potential complications. I advise everyone experiencing conjunctivitis symptoms to seek medical attention promptly to manage the condition effectively.”
In light of the current situation, MediBuddy urges individuals to adopt preventive measures to curb the transmission of conjunctivitis. Frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the eyes with unwashed hands, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are essential practices that can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
In addition to the surge in ophthalmology consultations, MediBuddy has also observed increased consultations in other medical specialties. A rise of 56% in weight management consultations for individuals seeking assistance in managing their weight to adopt a healthy lifestyle and overall well-being. Endocrinology consultations continue to rise and have increased by 67%, indicating a growing awareness of hormonal imbalances and their impact on overall health. Consultations related to pain management have witnessed a notable surge, soaring by 748% from 0.08% in 2022 to 0.74% in 2023. This is attributed to the growing demand for addressing pain-related problems from individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions and those seeking relief from acute pain.