The daily rise in air pollution seems to be harming public health, not just in terms of respiratory conditions but also because of the harmful effects on the eyes.
Allergens, poisons, and other airborne pollutants can irritate our eyes since they are sensitive and easily irritated. In actuality, excessive pollution levels and an increase in PM2.5 levels are the root cause of various eye problems, ranging from moderate eye irritation to severe allergies.
When there is soot and NOx in the air, the eye’s tear film becomes more acidic. Redness, itchiness, and burning of the eyes are symptoms of high pollution levels that we may observe or experience firsthand.
It might also cause conjunctivitis and eye allergies, which, if treated promptly, could potentially lead to corneal problems that limit vision.
The air of poor quality contains dangerous gases including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and large dust particles. This has caused more people to complain of red, watery eyes, and eye allergies at this time of year.
These can cause long-lasting irritation, redness, and watery eyes with repeated exposure, which can lead to subclinical ocular surface alterations.
Only a tiny layer of tear film shields the cornea and conjunctiva, two delicate outer layers, from airborne contaminants.
They thus have a higher propensity to get irritated and inflamed after being exposed to particle matter, which frequently leads to allergic conjunctivitis.
Currently observed in patients are the following issues brought on by air pollution:
- Tearing eyes
- Eye irritation
- Swelling in the eyes
- Red eyes
- Eyes that feel burning and itchy
The development of a variety of eye diseases, including cataracts, pterygium (tissue growth on the surface of the eye), skin cancer around the eye, photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea), corneal degenerative changes, and macular degeneration, may be influenced by excessive UV exposure.
Methods to lessen its effects include:
- Even if there are particles in your eyes, try not to rub them and instead properly rinse them with water.
- To lessen swelling, use a cold compress.
- The use of lubricating eye drops in accordance with an eye doctor’s advice can also provide some relief.
- Outside while sporting sunglasses
- In the event that your eyes are itchy, stay away from wearing contact lenses and eye makeup.
- Limiting exposure to pollution is the first line of defense.
- Consuming a balanced diet, which includes salads and veggies like carrots. To keep your eyes naturally lubricated, up your consumption of meals rich in omega-3, antioxidants, and water
- Getting enough water to drink
- Stop smoking and stay away from passive smoking
- Avoiding going to industrial locations with a lot of pollution
- Keeping the automobile window closed and shutting off the engine at red lights
- Maintaining air purifiers at home and practicing good hygiene, including frequent hand washing
- When outside, use safety goggles and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Avoid using contact lenses or applying eye makeup if your eyes are hurting.
- Even the smallest problems should be taken to an ophthalmologist.