Monsoon Conjunctivitis - 8 Foods That Can Worsen Your Eye Flu
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Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common eye infection that causes the whites of your eyes to turn red and your eyelids to become inflamed. If your eyes are like a party, conjunctivitis is the party crasher. It comes in uninvited, makes a mess, and leaves you feeling miserable. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergies, and this eye flu can cause discomfort, redness, and irritation in the eyes.

If you have conjunctivitis, it's important to see a doctor to get the correct diagnosis and treatment. In the meantime, you can try to relieve your symptoms by applying a cold compress to your eyes, using artificial tears, and getting plenty of rest. While medical treatment is essential in certain extreme cases and there are eye drops that soothe you, certain dietary choices can contribute to your comfort and recovery. Also, here is a list of the food items that you need to avoid when dealing with conjunctivitis.

Credits - Doctor Eye Health

Spicy Foods

Indian cuisine is renowned for its spices, but during a bout of conjunctivitis, it's best to avoid overly spicy foods. Spices like Kashmiri chilli powder and black pepper can exacerbate irritation and discomfort in the eyes. Add milder spices to your diet, such as coriander, fennel, and cardamom, to soothe your eyes.

Fried And Greasy Foods

Deep-fried foods can contain unhealthy fats that contribute to inflammation. Inflammation can prolong the healing process for conjunctivitis. These options might give momentary comfort, because who does not like things like French fries? But it is important for your recovery to avoid them. Greasy foods can clog your tear ducts, which can make conjunctivitis worse. If you have conjunctivitis, it's best to avoid greasy foods, such as pizza and fried chicken. Choose steamed or grilled options and include anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, and green leafy vegetables.

Dairy Products

While dairy is a staple in Indian cuisine and items like milk, ghee, and butter are seen as indispensable, it might worsen eye irritation during conjunctivitis. Dairy products can increase mucus production and worsen the symptoms of the flu. Consider switching to dairy-free alternatives like almond milk or coconut yoghurt while you recover.


While tea and coffee are popular beverages, especially during the monsoon, excessive caffeine intake can contribute to dehydration. As we have discussed before, dehydration can worsen the dryness and discomfort associated with conjunctivitis. Enjoy your caffeine in moderation and prioritise hydrating foods and beverages like shikanji or chhach.

Spicy Pickles and Chutneys

Pickles and chutneys often contain hot spices that can intensify eye discomfort. While having a bowl of khichdi, you might be tempted to try achaar or pair your cheela with a hot red chilli and garlic chutney, but wait till your recovery is complete. Go for cooling alternatives like mint chutney or raita that offer flavour without worsening irritation.

Excessive Salt

Salty foods can draw water out of your eyes, which can make conjunctivitis worse. It's best to avoid salty foods, such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn. High-sodium foods can disrupt the balance of fluids in your body, potentially worsening eye discomfort. Excess salt can lead to dehydration, which might delay the healing process. Choose low-sodium options and incorporate hydrating foods like cucumbers and melons. And keep hydrating yourself throughout the day with water or detox water.

Sugary Sweets

Sugary sweets and desserts can cause blood sugar spikes that impact your immune response and prolong the recovery of the stubborn eye flu. Opt for naturally sweet fruits and limit your consumption of sugary treats to support your body's healing process. If you crave a sweet treat, try having a few raisins or an apple instead.

Processed Snacks

Processed store-bought snacks often contain artificial additives and preservatives that might amplify eye irritation. With packaged food, you have limited information as to what ingredients and preservatives go into its making. And these can contribute to your inflammation and discomfort. Choose whole foods like nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits to provide nutrients and promote healing. Try to eat home-made food only for at least a week during recovery.

What To Eat?

While avoiding certain foods can ease your discomfort during conjunctivitis, it's equally important to focus on foods that support your overall health and recovery. Include nutrient-rich options like seasonally available fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Hydration is very important and the simplest way to recover, so drink plenty of water and consume hydrating foods to maintain moisture in your eyes.