The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) has warned that environmental pollution, involving the release of harmful gases, including smoke, into the atmosphere increases the risk of eye infections.
Dr Kwame Oben Nyarko, Public Relations Officer, GOA, explained that long-term exposure to air pollution may cause eye redness, sores, inflammation, and
sometimes mucus forming around the eyeballs.
“The most dangerous air pollution and eye health defects include cataracts and cancer,” Dr. Oben-Nyarko said on the campaign platform of the Ghana News Agency/Ghana Optometric Association, dubbed: “GNA-GOA My Eyes! My Vision!” in Tema.
The fortnight initiative is a collaborative advocacy campaign to promote healthy vision through access to eye care.
Dr Oben-Nyarko, also the Chief Executive Officer of Third Eyecare and Vision Centre, spoke on “red alerts among kids with eye conditions,” and explained that the compromised quality of air contains harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and coarse dust particles.
He noted that eye conditions in children could be caused by an allergic atmosphere.
An allergic atmosphere as a result of air pollution contains some harmful toxins and harsh dust particles, which led to more people complaining of redness of the eyes, including children.
He said redness of the eyes as a result of infections produces a yellowish or colourless fluid at the eye corners, which mostly occurred in seasons.
“This condition affects the pupils in children as well and needs a thorough eye examination instantly.”
Dr. Oben-Nyarko revealed that itchy eyes could also be caused by allergies thus a child in an allergic or harmful environment was likely to get infected, which called for immediate treatment.
Other red alerts that parents, teachers, and guardians must look out for among children are persistent headaches and constant complaining of itchy eyes.
The paleness of the eyes of a child must be quickly be examined by an optometrist and treated.
“This is because it makes the child have challenges in identifying colours,” Dr Oben- Nyarko said.