PM2.5, UV linked to eye polyps

PRECAUTION: Full-coverage sunglasses can act as a ‘mask’ to protect the eyes from particulate matter and harmful ultraviolet rays, a China Medical University doctor said

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 25, 2019
By: Huang Mei-chu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Long-term exposure to a combination of PM2.5 — particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers

A child wearing sunglasses poses for a photograph in Hsinchu County on Sunday.
Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Taipei Times

— and ultraviolet (UV) rays could cause allergies and irregular growths in the eyes, a Hsinchu County ophthalmologist said on Sunday.

PM2.5 makes unprotected eyes more susceptible to chronic inflammation, especially in people with allergic conditions, China Medical University Hsinchu Hospital ophthalmology department director Chen Ying-shan (陳瑩山) said.

Similarly, UV rays could lead to vasculitis of the sclera, or inflammation of the blood vessels in the white of the eye, he said.

When a person experiences repeated eye inflammation or red eyes, the tissues in their sclera could thicken and they could develop scleroderma, which is similar to skin hardening with repeated friction, Chen said.

If scleroderma is not properly treated and spreads to the pupil, it could grow into polyps and have irreversible effects on vision, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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