As the number of conjunctivitis cases continues to surge in Lahore and surrounding areas, citizens are facing a dire shortage of essential eye drops, while profiteers take advantage of the crisis, pushing prices to double their usual rates.
The eye condition, commonly known as pink eye, has gripped the city, leaving many in discomfort and distress.
Citizens seeking antibiotic and anti-allergy drops have reported frustration at having to visit multiple pharmacies to secure much-needed medication.
Even drops recommended for dry eyes are becoming increasingly elusive.
"I've been searching for antibiotic eye drops for three days now, but they are nowhere to be found. And when you do manage to find them, the prices are outrageous," said a citizen.
Numerous well-known brands producing essential eye drops, such as those containing tobramycin and dexamethasone formulas, have disappeared from pharmacy shelves, leaving patients with few options for treatment.
Even simple rose water eye drops have become scarce.
Pharmacy owners have pointed fingers at pharmaceutical companies, claiming that the manufacturers are unable to meet the soaring demand. In response, companies argue that the sudden surge in cases has overwhelmed their production capabilities.
The situation is not confined to Lahore alone. In the twin cities of Islamabad, the number of conjunctivitis patients continues to rise, leading to a surge in demand for eye medicine and rose water.
In Faisalabad, the crisis has spiraled out of control due to the unavailability of conjunctivitis medicines, with over 28,000 reported cases. Medical store owners report that effective multiple injections and eye drops for cataract treatment have been missing from the market for a week.
Meanwhile, the epidemic of cataracts is spreading rapidly in Multan, with 1,428 patients already reported in government hospitals. The shortage of eye drops and medicines has added to the woes of the citizens.
Doctors emphasize that prevention is key and urge people to exercise caution.