Health> Vol.5 No.5, May 2013

Climate change: Impact of increased ultraviolet radiation and water changes on eye health

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ABSTRACT

Global climate change, a significant addition to the spectrum of environmental health threats, is projected to have widespread adverse effects on the earth over a multi-decadal time period. Consequently the planet’s geological, biological and ecological systems, including human biology and health are expected to be altered. These effects are set to include an increase in adverse climate and weather events. The developing world carries a disproportionate burden of health implications that result from extreme climate and weather events, largely because they have limited capacity to respond to the cumulative impacts resulting from climate change. The developed world, however, is not immune to the impacts of climate change despite being highly industrialised and well serviced. In addition, there are a range of documented health impacts associated with climatic factors and a growing number of papers theorising how long-term climate change could impact on health. This article examines literature on the impact of climate change, specifically ultraviolet and water changes on eye health. Geographic and environmental factors that influence eye health, such as location and the spread of blindness causing diseases such as trachoma (bacterial infection of the eye) and onchocerciasis (parasitic disease in the eye) are also examined. The article aims to provide valuable information on the impacts of ultraviolet and water changes that are related to climate change and to propose recommendations that contribute to public health.

Cite this paper

Jaggernath, J. , Haslam, D. and Naidoo, K. (2013) Climate change: Impact of increased ultraviolet radiation and water changes on eye health. Health, 5, 921-930. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.55122.

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