Eyes can be described as one of the most important sensory organs. It helps us connect with the world with vision and is also important to make us independent. If you see, you can perceive. The very first thing which we do after waking up is “seeing”. So it is of utmost importance that we take all the steps to ensure good health of our eyes. Today air pollution has been blamed for a number of health ailments. Our eyes being the most sensitive of organs become all the more vulnerable to polluted or bad air. So,how does this bad air affect our eyes?
Air Pollution and its affect our eyes:
The principal pollutants that make the air toxic are- soot, smoke, dust, metal particles, sulphur, carbon compounds and many others. All these when come in contact with our eyes, result in number of eye problems, dry eyes being the most common one.
Signs and Symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Excessive watering
- Grittiness or sand like feeling
- Difficulty in seeing,driving etc.
- You might also feel like something is lodged into your eyes that you can’t remove.
Precautions to prevent eye damage due to air pollution :
By following certain dos and don’ts it is quite possible to protect our eyes from pollution to a certain extent.
- When outdoors try wearing a sun glass or a glass spectacle (either a plain one or with power those who require it), these will protect your eyes from dust and harmful UV rays as well.
- Washing of the face should always be done with clean water as polluted water coming in contact with eyes that are already irritated will aggravate the symptoms.
- Stay hydrated, especially during summers as only then enough tears will be produced to keep your eyes moist. Tear production helps in relieving the above symptoms.
- Area around the eyes should be kept as clean as possible.
- This becomes even more important as sticking to certain habits result in doing more damage to our eyes.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes as this results in damaging your eye surface.
- Avoid splashing water into your eyes to relieve burning sensation. Water with its own pollutants can further aggravate this problem.
- Quit smoking as cigarette smoke quickly dries out your eyes and cause constant eye irritation.
- If you are going outdoors for exercise or walk, do so in the mornings when air pollutants are at a lower concentration.
- Avoid using any eye drops without consulting your eye doctor.
As there is no way to completely eradicate air pollution, simple awareness can go a long way in keeping our eyes healthy and prevention of any serious damage. Concluding this, a regular check up from your ophthalmologist should always be done.