Unsafe and toxic air quality can harm your health. From respiratory problems to skin problems to digestive well-being, pollution can affect many aspects of health. Exposure to outdoor air pollution can even lead to itchy and watery eyes. But there are steps you can take to protect your eyes from air pollution.
How to deal with itching and watering eyes in this polluted weather?
Pollution has become an increasingly alarming global problem. Among the myriad health problems associated with pollution, itching and watery eyes are a widespread concern. Airborne microparticles and pollutants can irritate the eyes and cause discomfort. Fortunately, there are multiple remedies to relieve these symptoms and protect your eyes from the harmful consequences of pollution.
Health Shots contacted Dr Jayapal Reddy, Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist, to understand how to treat itchy eyes due to pollution.
1. Use artificial tears
Lubricating eye drops, often called artificial tears, can provide immediate relief. These drops help moisten your eyes and remove irritants. Opt for preservative-free eye drops for best results.
2. Wear sunglasses
“Buy a good pair of sunglasses that provide UV-A and UV-B protection. Sunglasses act as a physical barrier, protecting your eyes from dust, pollutants and harmful UV rays,” says Dr. Reddy. If you spend more time outdoors, putting on good quality sunglasses can come to your rescue by physically protecting your eyes.
Many people have gotten into the good habit of rinsing their eyes with water first thing in the morning or before going to sleep at night. However, as pollution is at its peak, you can use quality eye drops to rinse your eyes and help them get rid of unnecessary germs or pollutants. The expert adds: “Rinse your eyes with a saline eye rinse to remove any irritants that may have built up on the surface of your eyes. This can be particularly beneficial after spending time in polluted areas.”
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4. Stay hydrated
A hydrated body can always stay free of toxins. “Dehydration can exacerbate eye irritation. Make sure you drink an adequate amount of water to keep your body and eyes well hydrated,” says Dr. Reddy.
5. Reduce exposure to allergens
If you think allergies are contributing to your itchy and watery eyes, take steps to minimize exposure. Keep windows closed, use air purifiers, and avoid outdoor activities on days high in pollen or pollution.
6. Cold compress
Apply a cold compress to your closed eyelids for a few minutes. Cold can help reduce inflammation and soothe itching.
7. Blink regularly
Be aware of blinking more frequently. Blinking helps spread a protective layer of tears over your eyes, which can minimize discomfort.
8. Maintain good eyelid hygiene
Using eyelid wipes or scrubs can help prevent the buildup of debris and irritants along your lash line. You can carry them in your bag so they come in handy whenever you feel irritation in your eyes.