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Allergic Conjunctivitis

Dr Boima

HEALTH ISSUES

Allergic conjunctivitis forms part of a spectrum of allergic disorders. In this condition, there is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost transparent covering of the white of the eye) due to overreaction by the body’s immune system.

The major subtypes are seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (symptoms are limited to a certain time during the year) and perennial allergic conjunctivitis (symptoms are generally present throughout the year).

Occurrence
Personal history – Allergic conjunctivitis is common in people who have other forms of allergic disease like hay fever (97%), asthma (56%) and eczema (33%)
Genetics – It often runs in families
Age – allergic conjunctivitis like with other allergies, is more common in children and young adults
Environment – If one has allergies and lives in locations with high pollen counts, s/he is more susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis

Causes
The allergens that commonly cause allergic reaction in the eyes are:
Pollen (trees, grass, flowers, weeds)
Animal/Pets fur
Smoke or air pollution
Eye drops
Cosmetics
Dust mites

Symptoms
Most people with allergic conjunctivitis have problems with both eyes. Symptoms usually appear soon after the eyes have been in contact with the allergen or in other cases (eye drops) they may take about two to four days to appear. The following symptoms and signs are commonly reported in allergic conjunctivitis;
Itchy eyes
Red eyes
Teary/watery eyes
Painful/burning eyes
Gritty eyes (Feeling of foreign body in the eyes e.g. sand)
Swollen eyelids

Diagnosis

Allergic conjunctivitis is usually diagnosed after a thorough assessment of the symptoms described by the patient, and the suggestive signs that the doctor can see on the patient. Blood tests and other special tests are rarely needed. The most important thing is to rule out other eye conditions that may present with similar symptoms.

Treatment

Avoidance – When an allergen is identified, the person should avoid the allergen as much as possible

Home remedies – avoid rubbing or touching the eyes, as eye-rubbing may cause more inflammation. Compressing the eyes with cool towel. Washing the eyes twice a day with clean water.

Anti-histamines – may be given in the form of eye drops and tablets. Many of the symptoms in allergic conjunctivitis are due to histamine. Histamine is released by immune cells in response to an allergic trigger, and is the one responsible for the inflammatory changes and the symptoms that occur in allergic conjunctivitis.

Vasoconstrictors – e.g. oxymetazoline are available either alone or in combination with antihistamines to provide short-term relief of the inflammation/dilated blood vessels.

NSAIDS – topical NSAIDS may be prescribed to bring down the inflammation.

Steroids – they are only prescribed if symptoms are especially severe. They come in the form of eye drops and tablets.


Complications

Complications of allergic conjunctivitis in regards to a person’s health are extremely rare, but;

Sufferers may get frustrated of the prolonged/recurrence of symptoms

There may be disruption of the smooth running of day-to-day life activities that need concentration

Secondary eye infections may occur (discharging and sticky eyes)

Vision impairment – there is a small risk that the cornea might get inflamed as well (keratitis) especially in severe prolonged conjunctivitis, therefore affecting the vision. Patients with allergic conjunctivitis may as a precaution do annual eye/visual tests.

Prevention

People who know what causes their allergic conjunctivitis can help prevent the attack by avoiding the triggers. In addition, allergic triggers can be avoided by;

Using sunglasses to act as a barrier for airborne allergens

Using hypoallergenic bedding

Changing sheets/linen regularly

 For enquiries or comments please email agboima@yahoo.com

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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