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Smog from China increases incidence of conjunctivitis by 30 percent

霾害來襲 過敏性結膜炎增三成

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

From fall to winter every year, when the wind carries smog over from China and causes the air quality in Taiwan to deteriorate, the number of people with allergy conjunctivitis typically increases by 30 percent.


Allergy conjunctivitis, also known as allergic pink eye, can cause the eye to turn red, feel itchy and produce tears. According to head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Asia University Hospital Liang Chung-ling, treatment for allergy conjunctivitis differs, depending on the patient. In less serious cases, the problem can be treated with ice and anti-inflammatory drugs; in more serious cases, steroids may be required. If the conjunctivitis is a result of wearing contact lenses, the patient must stop wearing them and allow the eye to rest.


Liang also says that if eye makeup is not properly removed, the residual makeup may mix with skin oils and airborne pollutants and block up the tear ducts, causing the eyelash follicles to become inflamed. Over time, this may cause eyelashes to fall out, and if the condition is not cured before the follicle becomes damaged, the eyelash may never grow back.


Liang also says that when experiencing discomfort in the eye, it is best to go see an eye doctor as soon as possible: One should never use eye drops or artificial tears from pharmacies without consulting a doctor, because simply stopping the symptoms without finding the root cause may worsen the conjunctivitis.


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