Every year as the winter approaches, Delhi – NCR gets crippled by the notorious SMOG .
WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED SMOG?
This year the SMOG in Delhi is at a two decade high with the air condition being labeled as “SEVERE” for the past 7 days.
SMOG is formed by two words - SMOKE and FOG. The GREAT SMOG Of DELHI as is it being called, is the yellowish black haze which is engulfing the entire city and its surrounding areas and is as a result of trapping particulate matter and atmospheric pollution close to the ground due to cold and stagnant air, their subsequent reaction to the sunlight, thus emitting poisonous gases. This Kind of phenomenon is as a result of continued and slow buildup of air pollutants as a result of vehicular gases, industrial wastes ,crop burning, crackers bursting and other indiscriminate human activities.This type of air pollution is toxic to human beings and is the cause of many illnesses and shortened life span .
Apart from many cardiac and breathing difficulties, Smog also causes lots of eye problems as our eyes incredibly exposed and sensitive.The most common of it is dry eyes and allergic conjunctivitis. .Our tears consists of 3 layers-1) watery layer which moisturizes our eyes 2) Lipid 0r oily layer – which prevents evaporation of watery layer 3) Mucus layer- which causes even distribution of tears in our eyes. Dry eye syndrome occurs when either there is decreased production of tears or increased evaporation of the watery layer of tears, and can get aggravated due to lack of humidity in heavily populated smog –ridden Delhi.
If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen, leading to pain in eyes, prolonged blurred vision and in severe cases, loss of vision.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
The best way to avoid eye problems during smog period is to to stay indoors which is impractical . Air pollution is, for the most part, out of our control. However, there are steps we can take to make sure that our eyes get the most protection that they require.
Dr. Jasvinder Gill