Heat waves pose a serious risk to eyesight: Al-Shifa Trust.

As the temperatures rise and heat waves become more frequent, Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, known for its expert eye care services, has warned the public regarding the risks posed by heat waves to eyesight, emphasising the importance of protecting their eyes during these challenging times. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) have forecasted that Pakistan will face three heat wave spells in May and June, it said.

The third spell is anticipated to be particularly intense, lasting anywhere from 3 to 5 days. These prolonged periods of extreme heat can lead to various eye-related issues, making proactive eye care essential, said Dr. Wajid Ali Khan, Chief of Medical Services at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital.

Talking to media men, he said that these heat waves will bring with them many problems, including adverse effects on the public’s eyes.

He said one of the most common eye problems during the summer is eye dryness, especially in environments with low humidity. Air conditioners and contact lenses can both exacerbate this condition.

He added that symptoms often include eye redness, a feeling of heaviness, a gritty feeling in the eyes, or even sensitivity to light.

Furthermore, individuals who spend extended periods outdoors without adequate sun protection may be at risk of developing pterygium. Protecting one’s eyes from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial to averting this eye condition.

He said that eye infections become more common, especially when the eyes come into contact with water. Many pathogens in water, such as bacteria, are major causes of eye emergencies. An infection can result in permanent visual impairment or blindness.

Those who use contact lenses are especially vulnerable and should, under no circumstances, bathe wearing these lenses. 

He added that eye allergies are also common during the warmer months. These allergens can exacerbate symptoms such as dryness, itching, or burning. 

Dr Wajid Ali Khan advised the public to wear appropriate sunglasses for outdoor activities. He said we recommend regular ophthalmological examinations to monitor eye health and detect any issues early on.

Additionally, lubricating eye drops and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can significantly contribute to maintaining healthy eyes during summer.

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