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BBMP turning city into 'allergy capital'

With the pathetic road conditions in the city giving rise to perpetual dust, Hospitals have recorded an 80 per cent rise in the number of patients with allergies and eye infections; doctors have now dubbed city 'allergy capital of the country'
 
The ever-growing number of potholes on roads in the city clubbed with the delays in launching the Metro services has drastically affected the traffic situation, and sadly resulted in almost 80 per cent of the population rushing to eye hospitals with severe infections.

Hospitals in the city have recorded a sudden spurt in the number of patients afflicted by allergies and eye infections.


People attempting to avoid inhaling the dust being
kicked up by passing vehicles, but in vain

 
Eye doctors claim to be treating over 15 patients with infections on a daily basis and have blamed the BBMP authorities for the increase in dust allergy due to bad roads.

The problem has escalated to a point where doctors have now dubbed the city as the 'allergy capital of the country'.

"We get around eight patients with eye infection caused by dust on a daily basis. The minor allergy develops into a major infection when patients rub their eyes to ease the irritation.
 
This damages the corneal curvature of the eye, which leads to secondary Keratoconus (a severe stage of infection).

Hence it is advisable to protect the eyes with glasses while leaving home," said Dr Savitha Arun, senior consultant, Nethradhama Hospital.

Narayana Netrayalaya also recorded a sudden increase in the number of cases, so much so that they had to increase medical and non-medical staff to treat patients.

"Construction work, uncovered potholes and increasing traffic have impacted the city to a major extent now. We get about 15 patients with dust allergy and infection everyday.
 
If the infection is not treated, patients may even lose their sight in some cases," said Dr Bhujanga Shetty, senior eye surgeon, Narayana Netralaya.

Doctors further claim that if minor allergies are not treated in the initial stages, the problem often worsens.

"The eye is vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and manifestations can range from minimal or no symptoms to chronic discomfort and eye irritation.


City doctors blame the BBMP authorities for the increase in dust
allergy due to bad roads. They said construction work, uncovered
potholes and increasing traffic are affecting the city's health


There may also be specific situations for contact lens users, where the eye may be adversely affected by air pollution," said

Dr Kaushik Murali, consultant ophthalmologist, Sankara Eye Hospital.

Eye opener
In a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 80 per cent of patients from high pollution areas showed significant changes in their eyes, especially the ocular surface.

"The most common manifestation is of an allergic eye disease, where the patient develops redness and suffers from a gritty sensation in the eye.
 
This gets aggravated on exposure to pollution and pollen and can be relieved by cool compresses and artificial tears in mild cases.
 
Some patients with persistent allergic conjunctivitis may also require topical steroid drops," Murali added.

Don't blame us
BBMP's health department appeared to be in no mood to take the blame. Instead, the corporation lashed out at the common man for registering more and more vehicles, while not taking any precautions themselves.

"This has become the trend for Bangaloreans. Whenever there is a problem, they link it to us in one way or the other.
 
We can't be held responsible for every man's personal eye problems. The city has advanced and this obviously means that traffic had increased.
 
People want good infrastructure and at the same time, they want to complain about the problems that come along with it.
 
I would suggest that they start wearing glasses and helmets and stop littering the city instead of pointing fingers at us," Dr Geeta Shashikumar, chairman, standing committee, BBMP.

Number of cases per day
Narayana Netralaya: 15
Shankara Eye Hospital: 20
Nethradhama Hospital: 5
Navtakshi Netralaya: 5
Vikram Eye Hospital: 5

Cases per day

15
Narayana Netralaya

20
Shankara Eye Hospital

05
Nethradhama Hospital

05
Navtakshi Netralaya

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