Air quality degradation and overall environmental pollutants around us are increasing alarmingly. These environmental pollutants can trigger a lot of health problems including our eyes. These environmental triggers can consist of smoke, bacteria, toxic chemicals, gasses, and UV radiation. Whether it’s a shift in your surroundings or an overall season change, your eyes might suddenly feel dry and watery.
Sometimes your environment is responsible for triggering dry eye disease and causing discomfort. Dry eye condition happens when your eyes are unable to produce tears or they are inadequate for proper lubrication. If your eyes can’t make enough or good quality tears, a sudden change in the environment can have a direct effect on them, especially if the new environment has dry or warm air. Such environments can make your tears evaporate from the surface of your eyes more rapidly than cool and humid air. If you are looking for some remedy for dry itchy eyes, read this article to find certain tips for protecting your eyes against environmental triggers.
Tips To Protect Your Eyes Against Environmental Triggers:
- Wear protective eye gear:Just like wearing a mask to protect yourself against virus infections, wearing protective eye gear like sunglasses and reading glasses can be amazing for your eye health. Although it is not 100% protective from various harmful triggers in the environment, it can protect your eyes from a number of pollutants. You can also invest in a pair of UV-protective lenses as a preventive measure if you are not comfortable with eyeglasses.
- Do not rub your eyes:If you feel an itching sensation in your eyes due to exposure to pollution, you might be tempted to rub your eyes. But rubbing your eyes under the influence of that sensation can enhance the irritation and cause a burning sensation. It can also cause eye infections due to the transfer of germs from your bare hands.
- Avoid air travel as much as you can:Studies have shown that the inside of an airplane has a humidity level that can make tears evaporate from your eyes faster than normal. Passengers can often experience stuffy noses, dry skin, and eyes due to the poor air quality of airplanes. If air travel is unavoidable in your case, try to carry a good quality eyedrop to lubricate your eyes from time to time along with wearing eyeglasses.
- Invest in high-quality eye drops:If your eyes are constantly itching and burning due to poor air quality or other environmental factors, it is time to invest in high-quality eye drops. Since your dry eye condition will prevent the adequate formation or low-quality tears, artificial lubricants can be used to maintain the right level of moisture for your eyes. It can also help to flush out irritants that are bothering your eyes. Always remember to go for an eyedrop without preservatives for lubrication. Look for labels on the package to double-check your purchase.
- Stay hydrated and use cold compressors:Are you having eye inflammation due to excessive exposure to pollutants and other harmful chemicals in the environment? You can use cooling compressors such as a clean cloth soaked in cold water to get rid of the inflammation and itchiness. You can also wrap ice cubes in a clean cotton cloth and apply it to your eyes. It can work wonders to cure your burning sensation and inflammation. You should also stay hydrated and drink a lot of fluids to flush out harmful toxins and waste from the body along with your eyes.
- Quit smoking or staying near smokers: Research shows that smokers are at a higher risk of developing cataracts and vision-related problems as smoking causes optic nerve damage and age-related macular degeneration. If you are an active or a passive smoker, it is time to stop.
- Maintain home and work safety: Our eyes are exposed to many hazardous environmental pollutants almost everywhere, whether we are inside an office or our own home. Especially people who work in industrial settings are vulnerable to pollutants that can seriously damage eye health. Similarly, household cleaners are also continuously in direct contact with chemicals that are harmful to the eyes. This is when you should always cover your eyes with protective eyewear and invest in a good quality air purifier.
Increasing dust, pollutants, chemicals, bacteria, and various other irritants in the environment can worsen your dry eye condition. While the deteriorating environment is something we all have to deal with, it is always great to visit an eye specialist for regular checkups. These check-ups can find if you have common dry eye symptoms or more personalized signs which can indicate an underlying condition. Your eye specialist can also recommend you routine care tips to relieve your symptoms whether they are directly related to environmental issues or not.