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Alarming Pollution Levels Causing Eye Problems in Delhi

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

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Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
Delhi air quality continues to be 'very poor'. VOA

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.

Pollution
People in India are also at a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to the air pollution. Pixabay

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.

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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. (IANS)

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Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

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Pollution- climate crisis
Climate crisis has increased due to air pollution and people are facing lung and heart-related problems. VOA

Researchers have found that the nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution.

Rhinitis, a condition that affects between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the world’s population, is a disorder of the nasal mucosa characterised by congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, nasal irritation and, in some cases, a reduced sense of smell.

“Rhinitis is associated with asthma, which is closely linked to air pollution. That is why we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether long-term exposure to air pollution also plays a determining role in rhinitis,” said study researcher Benedicte Jacquemi from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers analysed data from 1,408 patients with rhinitis from 17 different European cities, including Barcelona and Oviedo (Spain), Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Umea (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany).

The participants answered a questionnaire regarding the severity of each one of their rhinitis symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with their day-to-day lives.

According to the researchers, airborne particles, the diameter of which can vary from micrometres to millimetres, are solid or liquid bodies present in the air. Particles with a diameter under 2.5 (PM2.5) and under ten micrometres (PM10) are of particular interest in this context.

Delhi Toxic Air
An elderly Indian woman seeks alms as youth wearing pollution masks walk through a shopping area in New Delhi, India. VOA

As the study shows, people living in cities with higher levels of PM10 and PM2.5 report the most severe rhinitis symptoms. An increase of 5 �g/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with a 17 per cent higher probability of severe rhinitis.

These particles were associated with increased severity of congestion, nasal irritation and sneezing, whereas exposure to NO2 increased the severity of nasal discharge and congestion, the study said.

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants.

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“The role of these pollutants in the severity of symptoms is probably linked to oxidative stress, apoptosis (a process by which irreparably damaged cells are eliminated) and inflammation,” said study lead author Emilie Burte.

“Our findings suggest that the effect of airborne particulate matter differs from that of gaseous emissions (NO2), probably because their respective mechanisms of action provoke different inflammatory responses in the respiratory tract; however, more studies are needed to validate this hypothesis,” Burt added. (IANS)