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Surge in Cases of ‘Eye Stroke’ Linked to Heatwaves: Understanding the Risks and Symptoms


As temperatures soar across the country, the increasing frequency of heatwaves is raising concerns about various health issues. Among these concerns, medical experts are drawing attention to a worrying phenomenon known as ‘eye stroke’.

Surge in Cases of 'Eye Stroke' Linked to Heatwaves: Understanding the Risks and Symptoms

But what exactly is an eye stroke, and how can one recognize its symptoms?

Eye stroke, also referred to as retinal artery occlusion, occurs when a blockage disrupts one of the arteries responsible for supplying blood to the retina. The retina, crucial for visual perception, relies on uninterrupted blood flow. When this flow is impeded, it can lead to sudden vision loss and potentially irreversible damage.

Various risk factors contribute to the onset of an eye stroke, including hypertension, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels, which affect blood vessel function.

Heatwaves exacerbate the risk of eye strokes by putting stress on the body to maintain a stable internal temperature. This stress can lead to dehydration, thickened blood, and elevated blood pressure, all of which hinder blood flow to the eyes.

Dehydration is a significant risk factor for eye strokes, potentially leading to dry eye syndrome, characterized by discomfort, redness, and a gritty sensation.

Symptoms of an eye stroke may develop gradually or suddenly, typically affecting one eye. These symptoms include floaters (visual disturbances), blurred vision, and varying degrees of vision loss.

Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for prompt medical intervention and preventing further damage. Stay hydrated, protect your eyes from excessive heat, and seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms during a heatwave.