Air pollution ranges in Delhi-NCR have been alarming for the reason that onset of the festive interval, owing to a mix of things reminiscent of vehicular air pollution, burning of firecrackers and stubble burning in neighbouring states, and so forth. In accordance with a current research, the air high quality in NCR is as unhealthy as smoking 40 cigarettes a day. And, extended publicity to this polluted air has a catastrophic affect on all organs of our physique, together with the eyes. Circumstances of dry eye, watering, burning sensation, blurred imaginative and prescient and even glaucoma are being reported regularly.
“The eye, being one of the most sensitive organs, is continually exposed to the toxic environment, posing a significant risk to eye health and eyesight in general,” says Dr Saumya Sharma, senior advisor at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals.
Elements affecting eye well being
The severity of discomfort produced by air air pollution is decided by the degrees of hydrocarbons and nitric oxide in ambient air. Hydrocarbon chemical substances that trigger such irritation within the eyes are C4 and C5 olefins, produced by cars. “According to IQair.com, air pollution in most of India’s major cities ranges from bad to severe, with air quality index (AQI) readings above 400. Aside from the traditional culprits such as automobile exhaust and industrial trash, open burning of agricultural waste exacerbates the problem,” provides Dr Sharma.
Results of air pollution on eyes
With common publicity, air air pollution could cause tearing, burning, blurred imaginative and prescient, glaucoma and dry eye syndrome, which is irreversible.
“Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the eye does not produce enough tears to moisturise the eye, causing it to remain dry all the time, leading to irritation. If this persists for a prolonged period, it can even lead to vision loss,” shares Dr Mahipal Sachdev, medical director and chairman, Centre for Sight Group of Eye Hospitals.
Air pollution may trigger chemical conjunctivitis. Usually recognised as ‘pink eye’, conjunctivitis refers to contamination or swelling inside the outer membrane of our eyeball. “Treatment includes rinsing the eye thoroughly with saline and may require the use of typical steroids,” provides Dr Sachdev.
Many people are additionally experiencing burning sensation within the eyes, on account of air pollution reminiscent of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide within the air.
“A 2015 study by AIIMS, New Delhi, shows that 10-15% of people in Delhi suffer from chronic irritation and dry eye syndrome due to constant exposure to a high level of pollutants in the air. Redness, sensitivity to light, soreness, sensitivity to wind and smoke and mucus forming around the eyeballs are some of the common symptoms of dry eye syndrome,” provides Dr Rishi Raj Borah, Nation Director, Orbis India.
The way to defend your eyes
Avoiding publicity to dangerous pollution is the golden rule. Nonetheless, eye signs might be minimised in a polluted surroundings by following the following pointers.
Keep away from rubbing your eyes, even when particulates enter them, as this will trigger abrasion on the cornea.
Wash your eyes completely with water. If international physique sensation persists, go to an ophthalmologist.
Lubricating eye drops prescribed by eye specialists may supply consolation.
Put on sun shades when outdoor, which protects the eyes towards UV rays that may trigger long-term issues.
Don’t put on contact lenses when outdoors. When you do have to put on them, go for disposable ones.
(Inputs by Dr Vineeta Tandon, senior advisor, Inner Drugs, PSRI Hospital, Delhi and Dr Jinish Upadhyay, advisor ophthalmologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai)