1st Edition

Climate Change and Eye Disease Eye Health and Blindness in a Hostile Environment

By Scott Fraser Copyright 2025
    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the impact of climate change on eye disease and eye health.


    Filling a lacuna in the existing literature, Scott Fraser takes a deep dive into the eye diseases that are most affected by the climate crisis and explores the subsequent burden on organisations, charities and healthcare systems. Fraser begins by including short primer chapters on the basics of climate science and climate change, highlighting which environmental mechanisms directly and indirectly affect our health and why. He then looks in detail at the direct and indirect threats to eye health from climate change and examines factors including changing insect vectors, trauma from extreme weather events such as wildfires, floods and droughts, as well as the impact of crop failure, malnutrition, animal and plant migration. Highlighting the Global North vs South divide, the book goes on to consider issues around eye care, exploring the increased burden that climate-induced chronic eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration and nutritional eye diseases are placing on health care systems. These chapters also reflect on the ways in which eye care, ophthalmology, optometry, pharmaceutical and medical device companies all contribute to the climate footprint themselves.


    Unique and timely, this book will be a great resource for students and clinicians of ophthalmology, optometry and allied eye care professions, as well as climate scientists, researchers, policy makers, charities, NGOs working in related fields of environment and health.




    Chapter 1: Why is our climate changing and what is the cause?


                            1.1 What is the evidence the earth is getting hotter?


                            1.2 How do we know the Earth is getting hotter?


                            1.3 What is causing the earth to get hotter?


    1.4 What are the consequences of these changes in our atmosphere?


    Chapter 2: How does climate change affect human health?


                            2.1 The direct effects to human health from climate change


    2.2 The indirect effects to human health from climate change


    Chapter 3: Climate change and Eye Disease


                            3.1 Specific Effects of Climate Change on the Eye


                                        The Eyelids

                                        The Conjunctiva

                                        Dry Eye

                                        The Cornea

                                        The Lens


                                        The Retina

                                        The Uveal Tract


                            3.2 General Effects of climate change on ocular health



    Infectious Diseases

    Cardiovascular Disease


    Inactivity, obesity and diabetes

    Changes in Animal Behaviour

    Migration, population changes and war



    Chapter 4: Climate change and Eye Care


                            4.1 Eye associated cancers

                            4.2 Dry Eye Disease

                            4.3 Cataract

                            4.4 Age Related Macular Degeneration

                            4.5 Infectious diseases and the eye

                            4.6 Vitamin A deficiency

                            4.7 Diabetic Eye Disease

                            4.8 Glaucoma

                            4.9 Ocular trauma

                            4.10 Climate change and the provision of eyecare services



    Chapter 5: Eye care effects upon climate change


                            5.1 The effect of healthcare on the climate

                            5.2 The effect of eye care on the climate

                            5.3 Cataract surgery, climate change and sustainability

                            5.4 Dry eye disease, eye drop use and climate change

                            5.5 The Retina and climate change

                            5.6 Glaucoma and climate change

                            5.7 Optometry and climate change

                            5.8 Practitioner awareness of climate change



    Chapter 6: The Burden of blindness


                            6.1 What is blindness?

                            6.2 Current numbers and projections

                            6.3 The economic costs

                            6.4 The personal costs



    Chapter 7: Rays of hope


                            7.1 Organisations, governments and industry

                            7.2 Trachoma

                            7.3 Onchocerciasis

                            7.4 Vitamin A deficiency

                            7.5 Diabetic Retinopathy

                            7.6 Technology

                            7.7 Education

                            7.8 Optometry

                            7.9 Finally





    Scott Fraser has been an NHS doctor for 35 years and an ophthalmologist for most of them. He has been active in research during this time including in the Cochrane Collaboration. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland in the UK and the University of New England in Australia. As well as research papers he has written a number of books most recently ‘Your Health When the Climate Changes.’