Eye Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özsütçü made an assessment regarding the negative effects of air pollution on eye health and the measures to be taken against the problem.
Stating that in the 21st century, climate change and air pollution dramatically affect human health and mortality rates. Dr. Özsütçü noted the following:
“Air pollution and global warming have a devastating effect on the eyes as well as the heart and lungs. Especially those living in cities where air pollution is seen are at risk. The increase in harmful gases and particles in the air causes irritation, redness, foreign body sensation on the front surface of the eye. Air pollution and global warming pose a high threat to health.Air pollution, which directly affects the development of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, also targets eye health. “The amount of increase in harmful gases and particles in air pollution is much higher than the eye can tolerate. This causes problems including vision loss.
Özsütçü warned especially contact lens wearers about the negative effects of air pollution, “Contact lens wearers feel more discomfort due to air pollution on the anterior surface of the eye. Dust and particles in the air stick to the lens. Problems such as the emergence of allergic problems in the eye, dry eyes, and vision problems develop. ” gave the information.
“Yellow spot and danger of glaucoma”
Underlining the toxic effect of chemical particles in the air on the retina and the risk of age-related macular degeneration (yellow spot disease), Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özsütçü stated that another issue ongoing studies is the increase in intraocular pressure, which causes the disease called glaucoma in the long term caused by air pollution.
Expressing that the causes and consequences of air pollution are directly related to people, Özsütçü pointed out that while this pollution is caused by the changing lives of people, human health will also be affected by the negative conditions that will arise.
Özsütçü made the following recommendations to protect eyes from air pollution and changing living conditions:
“Indoor areas we are in should be ventilated abundantly, the room should be kept humid, nature walks should be done, screen exposure should be kept to a minimum. Apply the 20-20 rule to reduce screen exposure and prevent eye dryness. After 20 minutes of work, rest your eyes for 20 seconds. Increase the humidity level in the indoor areas you are in. Use glasses to minimize tear evaporation in windy weather. Minimize UV exposure from the sun with sunglasses in summer and snow goggles in winter. Use plenty of water to keep the front surface of the eye moist. “
Stating that the anterior surface disorders caused by air pollution can be cured with symptomatic treatments, Özsütçü said, “Close follow-up and correct intervention when necessary are the most effective method. Even if the eye diseases due to air pollution do not show symptoms, if you are at increased risk and there is an emergency, consult an ophthalmologist.” used the expressions.