Toxic Smog Brings Surge of Eye Ailments During Spring
Spring has begun, seeing a surge of patients with eye-related complaints, as thick smog often aggravated by fine dust particles blankets the nation.
According to data by Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, the number of patients diagnosed with dry eye syndrome -- the condition of having dry eyes -- increased by 6 percent in the last three years.
In particular, March sees a spike in the number of such patients. In 2016, the number of patients surpassed 330,000. It was more prevalent among women, who accounted for some 68 percent of patients. People in their 50s and 60s accounted for almost 40 percent.
Symptoms of eye ailments can vary from irritation and redness to migraine and fatigue. Dry eyes can also be triggered by extensive use of smartphones and other electronic devices. Among many other causative factors, however, fine dust particles carrying germs and pollution are the main culprit in poor optical health.
As preventative measures, doctors recommend staying indoors or using eye drops, blinking frequently when reading for long hours, and massaging eyes with a warm wet towel.