14November2018

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Delhi's polluted air can cause glaucoma, cataract

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Rohit Shishodia
People having eye diseases due to ongoing hazardous air pollution in Delhi-NCR may develop glaucoma and cataract in the future. Doctors say anti-allergy medicines and steroids used for eye problems such as irritation in the eyes can cause development of glaucoma and cataract.

Doctors told DTMT that this severe air pollution can even lead to blindness for eye patients of glaucoma and cataract. They recommended safety measures such as wearing protective glasses so that particulate matters do not enter the eyes.  

Dr Rahul Sharma from the Department of Ophthalmology, RML-Delhi, told DTMT that pollution in Delhi-NCR has been hazardous for the last three to four years. People who have been regularly experiencing eye problems in this air pollution may develop glaucoma and cataract in future.

Dr Sharma added that in this season anti-allergic medicines and steroids used for eyes diseases contribute to the glaucoma and cataract. Dry eyes, redness in eyes, vision problems and wounded pupils are some of the complaints people face in such air pollution conditions.

Dr Sharma advised that people having eye problems must go to a qualified eye specialist instead of going to chemists for taking medicines. “They should wear protective glasses. The chemists give cheap steroids that can damage eyes,” added Dr Sharma.

Dr Anil Sharma, Delhi-based eye consultant, told DTMT that particulate matters and gases cause instant allergy.

“If allergic keratoconjunctivitis continues for long, it causes redness. It can affect the shape of the cornea and affect vision too. Gases released from diesel and petrol can cause glaucoma and other diseases. Preservative medicines for eyes can endanger the eyes. This condition is known as medicamentosa. In such a condition, people face discomfort in the eyes and have poor vision,” added Dr Sharma.

Dr Sharma said that patients with keratoconjunctivitis can also lose their vision due to air pollution. He has advised wearing of artificial tears as a protective measure in this season.

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