UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

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Document Type



Emergency Medicine | Environmental Public Health | Eye Diseases | Ophthalmology


BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have confirmed the association of ambient temperature and air pollution with a higher risk of morbidities, yet few have addressed their effect on the ocular system. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between temperature, air pollution, and emergency room visits for conjunctivitis.

METHODS: In this case-crossover study, the records of all emergency room visits to Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC) from 2009 to 2014 were reviewed for patients with conjunctivitis. Daily exposure to fine and coarse particulate matter and temperature were determined by a hybrid model involving satellite sensors. Mean relative humidity was obtained from the Ministry of Environmental Protection meteorological monitoring station located in Beer-Sheva.

RESULTS: Six hundred one patients were diagnosed with conjunctivitis in the SUMC emergency room. We discovered a positive association between temperature increments and incidence of conjunctivitis. The strongest effect was found during summer and autumn, with an immediate (lag0) incidence increase of 8.1% for each 1 degrees C increase in temperature (OR = 1.088, 95%CI: 1.046-1.132) between 24 and 28 degrees C in the summer and 7.2% for each 1 degrees C increase in temperature (OR = 1.072, 95%CI: 1.036-1.108) between 13 and 23 degrees C in the autumn. There was no statistically significant association between fine and coarse particulate matter and conjunctivitis incidence.

CONCLUSION: Temperature increases during summer and autumn are significantly associated with an increased risk of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is not associated with non-anthropogenic air pollution. These findings may help community clinics and hospital emergency rooms better predict conjunctivitis cases and will hopefully lead to improved prevention efforts that will lower the financial burden on both the individual and the public.


Air pollution, Conjunctivitis, Ocular disease, Temperature, Weather

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

DOI of Published Version



Khalaila S, Coreanu T, Vodonos A, Kloog I, Shtein A, Colwell LE, Novack V, Tsumi E. Association between ambient temperature, particulate air pollution and emergency room visits for conjunctivitis. BMC Ophthalmol. 2021 Feb 24;21(1):100. doi: 10.1186/s12886-021-01854-1. PMID: 33627098; PMCID: PMC7903634. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC ophthalmology

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.