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Eye Stroke Risk Increases With Dehydration, May Lead to Vision Loss

eye stroke

India has been grappling with a severe heatwave over the past two weeks, with temperatures soaring to 52.9 degrees Celsius in some areas. Amidst this scorching heat, health concerns have arisen, including the risk of an eye stroke due to direct exposure to the sun’s rays. But what exactly is an eye stroke, and how does extreme heat impact our vision?

Understanding Eye Stroke

An eye stroke, also known as anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the tissues in the front part of the optic nerve. This condition can be dangerous and potentially debilitating. If the blockage occurs as blood vessels emerge from the optic nerve onto the retina, it is referred to as a central or branch retinal artery occlusionThe hallmark symptom of an eye stroke is sudden loss of vision1.

Impact of Heat on Eye Health

Heatwaves can negatively affect overall eye health by causing dehydration, which leads to dry eyes and irritation. Additionally, increased exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the eyes. Here are some ways extreme heat impacts our eyes:

  1. Dry Eyes and Irritation: Dehydration from heat can result in dry eyes and constant irritation.
  2. UV Damage: Prolonged exposure to UV rays increases the risk of conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
  3. Allergies and Infections: High temperatures can exacerbate allergies, leading to more frequent eye rubbing and potential infections.

Symptoms of Eye Stroke

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention promptly:

  • Dryness in Eyes
  • Constant Irritation
  • Blurry Vision
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Swelling
  • Sudden Vision Loss in One Eye
  • Loss of Visual Contrast or Light Sensitivity

Tips for Eye Health in Extreme Heat

To protect your eyes during heatwaves, consider the following precautions:

  1. Wear Sunglasses: Shield your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses that provide adequate protection against cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye damage.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration worsens eye health, so drink at least eight glasses of water daily (more if you’re exposed to heat).
  3. UV-Blocking Contact Lenses: Consider using contact lenses that block UV rays for an extra layer of protection.
  4. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Consume eye-healthy foods rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acidsvitamins C and E, and zinc. These nutrients reduce the risk of eye conditions exacerbated by heat and UV exposure.
  5. Wear a Hat: Whenever you step out in the sun, wear a hat to reduce direct sunlight exposure to your eyes.

Remember, taking care of your eyes is essential, especially during extreme weather conditions. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and protect your vision 2.

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