Alarming levels of pollution in Delhi causing eye problems

New Delhi: Traffic police personnel wear masks to protect themselves from pollution as smog engulfs New Delhi on Nov 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Air quality in Delhi has been witnessing a drastic decline of late. Photo: IANS
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New Delhi: With pollution levels reaching alarming levels in the national capital, ophthalmologists have observed a sharp rise in the number of patients suffering from eye problems including allergy, burning and itching.

According to Ikeda Lal, an opthalmologist at the Delhi Eye Centre and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, pollutants and dust in the air is one of the major reasons for causing eye allergy and other related problems.

"We are observing an increase in number of patients coming to us with complains of redness, itching, watering in the eyes. Patients with pre-existing dry eyes are experiencing exacerbation due to high pollution," Lal said.

He added that opthalmologists were observing almost increase of 30-35 per cent in the number of patients coming with eye-related problems.

"Due to increasing pollution, there is increase in the incidence of dry eye and ocular allergy. This is causing discomfort even in normal eyes and aggravates the eye complaints in eyes that are prone to dryness and allergies," said Rajesh Sinha, Professor of Ophthalmology, AIIMS.

"If care is not taken immediately, some of these eyes can have reduced vision due to this problem as well," he added.

Lal also said that people with complains of itching in the eyes are likely to suffer from allergic eye disease.

Patients with pre-existing dry eyes may experience excessive dryness, irritation and burning due to ocular surface inflammation.

In case of any eye related problems, consulting an ophthalmologist is recommended and exposure to polluted air should be minimized, the doctor said.

To deal with eye related allergies caused due to pollution, Doctors suggests that do not rub eyes if they itch, wash eyes with clean water; repeat if it still feels uncomfortable, cold compresses also help in relieving mild itching.

"See an eye doctor as soon as possible and avoid prolonged exposure of eyes to pollution," the experts added.

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