5 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from the Adverse Effects of Air Pollution

Nature’s paintbrush works around the year painting the four seasons in different hues. In India, the bright hues of the fall get tinted with shades of grey every year after Diwali.  That’s when the season of Air Pollution takes over. This year as well the air quality in Delhi NCR has worsened post festivities and several locations around Northern India have recorded severe AQI levels. It’s alarming to know the number of pollutants we are inhaling.

While the pollutants are bad for our skin and respiratory organs, they also harm our eyes. According to an eye specialist doctor, contact with these pollutants every day may cause eye issues such as dryness, redness, and infection.

What is Smog and how is it affecting our eyes?

Smog is a common phenomenon in metro cities with high industrial emissions and traffic. It is a dense layer of air that forms near the ground due to high air pollution. People with lung or heart problems, children, the elderly, and pregnant women are more sensitive to its effects. The first signs of health problems caused due to smog are irritation in the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes. In some cases, breathing and the respiratory system can also be impacted.

The harmful pollutants of the smog affect our eyes, causing allergies and damage. The most common eye conditions caused due to air pollution/ smog are watery eyes, burning sensation or discomfort, sore eyes, redness, swelling, itching sensation, etc.

Here are a few ways you can protect your eyes from the damage of air pollution –

  • Keep your eyes shielded

We are already habitual to wearing masks now, thanks to the global pandemic. But with the deteriorating air quality, there is an additional need to cover your eyes too. Eye specialist doctors suggest staying indoors as much as you can especially in the early hours of the morning when the pollution levels are at their peak.  If in case you need to head out, make sure to wear protective eyeglasses to minimize your exposure to the pollution-causing agents. As the face masks protect our lungs from inhaling pollution, the glasses or shades will help protect our eyes.

  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes

The eyes are the most sensitive organ in our body. Touching or rubbing them with unwashed hands often may cause irritation and infection, especially due to high air pollution. According to the best eye doctors, rubbing may increase discomfort and make eyes watery and increase the burning sensation. If you wish to clean your eyes, wash your hands or use a clean tissue or cloth.

  • Use relaxing eye drops

Since the smog period increases dryness in the eyes, it’s best to keep the eyes lubricated with cooling eye drops. The layer of moisture created by eye drops helps protect your eyes from dryness, itching, pathogenic bacteria, and hazardous pollutants. The eye and retina specialists in Gurgaon believe it’s important to consult an eye specialist before using any eye drops.

  • Follow healthy habits

As much as a healthy diet might help keep your eyes healthy, drinking plenty of water will aid in adequate tear formation. It’s essential to keep your eyes hydrated when external factors like smog increase your chances of dry eyes and irritation. Along with staying hydrated, it’s important to avoid excessive screen time on mobile phones, laptops, and television. Ensure adequate rest to avoid eye fatigue, dry eyes, and computer vision syndrome.

For routine eye checkups, you must always pay attention to an eye issue, especially when the air quality is severe. Eye specialists recommend regular eye checkups and immediate medical help if the dryness or irritation persists. Viaan Eye & Retina Centre has state-of-the-art equipment and skilled doctors who will ensure you get the best possible eye care.

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