Heatwave Spurs Surge in ‘Eye Stroke’ Cases: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself

Understanding ‘Eye Stroke’

The recent heatwave has led to a noticeable increase in cases of ‘eye stroke,’ a condition medically known as retinal artery occlusion. This condition occurs when the blood flow to the retina is blocked, leading to sudden vision loss. While it can affect anyone, certain factors, including extreme heat, can exacerbate the risk.

How Heatwaves Contribute

Heatwaves are known to increase the risk of various health issues, and ‘eye stroke’ is no exception. High temperatures can lead to dehydration and increased blood viscosity, making it easier for blood clots to form. These clots can then travel to the tiny arteries that supply the retina, causing a blockage. People with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension or diabetes are particularly vulnerable during extreme heat.

Symptoms and Immediate Actions

The symptoms of an ‘eye stroke’ are often sudden and can include partial or complete vision loss, usually in one eye. Other symptoms may include visual disturbances like floaters or flashes of light. If you experience any of these signs, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Early intervention can sometimes restore vision and prevent permanent damage.

Preventative Measures

To reduce the risk of ‘eye stroke,’ especially during a heatwave, it is essential to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Wearing sunglasses can also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. For those with underlying health conditions, regular check-ups and managing factors like blood pressure and blood sugar levels are vital.

In conclusion, while heatwaves can pose significant health risks, understanding and mitigating these risks can help protect your vision. Stay informed, stay hydrated, and take appropriate precautions to safeguard your eye health.

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