Climate Change Effects Make Annual Eye Checkups More Important Than Ever


Many of us see an optometrist only when feel there’s something wrong with our vision, not thinking that some environmental elements can affect our eyes. Actually, in as early as 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report that included warnings about the potential effects of climate change on our eyes.

The report tells of how increased ultra violet rays, (UVR), air pollution, polluted water and low oxygen levels can become causes of certain eye disorders. Although such elements gradually take effect, it’s high time we heed the advice of health experts about seeing an eye doctor at least once a year.

An optometrist not only does eye examination to check on your vision acuity. This eye doctor also takes note of any early signs of common eye disorders like cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Actually, through eye examinations, an optometrist can detect early symptoms of health disorders like high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancerous or benign tumors that could be affecting not only the eyes but the brain as well. Although an optometrist will not administer the treatment, he or she will endorse the care of the patient to an appropriate doctor like an ophthalmologist or doctor of internal medicine (internist).

Still, some people, especially in underserved communities, hesitate to visit doctors for annual checkups for the simple reason that they cannot afford to pay the fees and medications.

Apparently, these people are not aware that there are community health centers that can provide them the primary health care they need, at low or no cost at all. The state of Florida for one has health centers spread across urban and rural communities identified as underserved areas.

Those in the underserved sectors of Orlando for one, seek the services of an optometrist orlando community health centers provide to make eye care available for everyone regardless of their financial capability.
In the meantime, it would be best to know how the effects of climate change can adversely affect our eyes. That way, you’ll have an idea of what to to do and avoid to protect your eyes

Eye Diseases Caused by Increased Levels of Exposure to UVR

According to a WHO report in 2003, increased exposure to UVR can prompt eye disorders from developing. Eye disorders including sunburn on the eye, inflammation of cornea and the conjunctiva, solar retinopathy, cataracts, growth of the mucous membrane that covers the white of the eye, and macular degeneration among many others.

Contaminated Water Can Directly Affect the Eyes

Climate change can also affect our water quality negatively, which can damage our eyes due to various bacterial infection. An example of this is trachoma, which is a bacterial infection that commonly causes blindness. It actually spreads very easily, particularly to areas who are experiencing scarcity of clean water.

Air Pollution and Its Potential Effect on the Eyes

Being exposed to air pollution associated to traffic denotes that we are also exposed to carbon monoxide and ambient nitrogen dioxide regularly. These aforementioned gases can multiply our risk in getting age-related macular degeneration (AMD).