Eye-care at times of pollution

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DTMT Network

Air pollution is said to cause minor to serious damage to the eyes; at times of heavy pollutions more cases of conjunctivitis and irritation of the eyes are reported, various studies indicate.

In a study published in the journal IVOS, the researchers from Moorfields Eye Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London found that longer exposure to ambient PM2·5 is associated with both self-reported glaucoma and adverse structural characteristics of the disease.

“Air pollution not only affects the heart, lungs and bones but also affects our eyes severely,” Dr Prateeksha Sharma of Centre for Sight in Delhi said.  

Various studies have established that long exposure to pollution remains one of the major causes of dry eye syndrome especially among the elderly.

“During dry-eye syndrome, the tear, which not only provides nutrition to eyes but also helps to keep the eyes moist,” she added.

Dr Shamra informed that prominent symptoms of dry eye syndrome are burning or scratchy sensation in eyes, stringy mucus in or around eyes, light sensitivity, redness, weariness and pain in eyes, headache, swelling even reduction in vision.

Taking care of eyes is paramount in order to keep them healthy, she emphasised.

Healthy diet habits like plenty of green vegetables and carotene-rich fruits and vegetables go a long way in maintaining healthy eyes, she adds.

Precautions like not venturing outside during morning hours should be taken; in case one needs to get out in the mornings, they must protective eye-wears to ensure the protection of the eyes, Dr Sharma informed.

One should remain indoors to the extent possible keeping oneself away from direct contact with pollutants she advised.
Pollutions are high during the morning hours and if someone needs to get out in the mornings they must ensure the protection of the eyes by wearing protective eye-wears. People should refrain from rubbing or touching eyes repeatedly when outdoors, Dr Sharma informed. 


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