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The rise in surface temperatures on Earth is called global warming or climate change. This is caused primarily by our use of fossil fuels like coal and oil, which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The effect on the ecosystem over time includes drought, severe weather events and rising sea levels.

A lot is being done to battle climate change. The reality of the situation is brought to bear every time it snows in summer or torrential rainfalls in the dry season. The various climate change effects on the weather can affect the eyes.

Some consequences of climate change

  • Excessively dry weather
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Contaminated water
  • Airborne particles
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation

How do these things affect the eyes?

  • Because the eyes are exposed to the elements daily, dry weather can cause serious problems for those prone to dry eyes.
  • Oxygen depletion adversely affects the eyes as the eyes need oxygen to function optimally. Eyes need to breathe, one reason why it is important to remove contact lenses before sleeping.
  • With increase in impure air, the incidences of eye allergies and all types of allergies is on the rise
  • Particles in the air can cause eye irritation and increase the risk of eye infection.
  • Diseases like trachoma (a bacterial infection that can cause blindness) can be spread through contaminated water.
  • UV rays can cause cataracts and other eye diseases like macular degeneration.

Protecting your eyes

Wearing glasses with UV protection in sunlight helps block UV rays. Wearing a hat also helps reduce UV exposure. Not all sunglasses block UV rays, so get your sunglasses from an optometrist to get the best protection.

Try to use clean water to wash your face. Wear clear glasses or sunglasses to reduce dust particles getting into the eyes. Your optometrist can recommend the best product to help ease eye distress from dry eyes.

The best way to protect ourselves is to engage in best practices to help stem the tide of climate change. Use green energy. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Let’s take care of our planet. Contact us for more information on protecting your eyes.