Air pollution can lead to itchy, watery eyes! Here’s what to do

Pollution can be as harmful to your eyes as it is harmful to your lungs. An expert shares how to deal with itchy eyes due to air pollution.
Know how to deal with itchy eyes due to air pollution. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 7 Nov 2023, 12:00 pm IST

Hazardous and toxic air quality can play havoc on your health. From respiratory issues to skin problems and digestive well-being, there are many aspects of health that pollution can affect. Exposure to outdoor air pollution can even lead to itchy and watery eyes. But there are some things you can do to protect your eyes from air pollution.

How to deal with itchy, watery eyes in this polluted weather?

Pollution has become an increasingly alarming global issue. Among the myriad health problems associated with pollution, itchy and watery eyes are a prevalent concern. Airborne micro-particles and pollutants can irritate the eyes, causing discomfort. Fortunately, there exist multiple remedies to relieve these symptoms and shield your eyes from the adverse consequences of pollution.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Jayapal Reddy, a Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist, to understand how to deal with itchy eyes due to pollution.

Don’t ignore why your eyes may be itchy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Use artificial tears

Lubricating eye drops, often referred to as artificial tears, can provide immediate relief. These drops help to moisten your eyes and flush out any irritants. Opt for preservative-free eye drops for the best results.

2. Wear sunglasses

“Buy a good pair of sunglasses that offer UV-A and UV-B protection. Sunglasses act as a physical barrier, shielding your eyes from dust, pollutants, and harmful UV rays,” says Dr Reddy. If your time outdoors is more, putting on good quality sunglasses can come to your rescue by physically protecting your eyes.

3. Eyewash

Many people have adhered to a good habit of rinsing their eyes with water first thing in the morning or before sleeping at night. However, as the pollution is at its peak, you can use a quality eye wash to rinse your eyes and help them get rid of unnecessary germs or pollutants. The expert adds, “Rinse your eyes with a saline eye wash solution to remove any irritants that may have accumulated on the surface of your eyes. This can be especially beneficial after spending time in polluted areas”.

Also read: These 7 ways to reduce eyestrain will keep your pain away

4. Stay hydrated

A hydrated body can always stay free from toxins. “Dehydration can exacerbate eye irritation. Ensure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water to keep your body and eyes properly hydrated,” says Dr Reddy.

5. Reduce allergen exposure

If you suspect allergies are contributing to your itchy, watery eyes, take steps to minimize exposure. Keep windows closed, use air purifiers, and avoid outdoor activities during high pollen or pollution days.

6. Cold compress

Apply a cold compress to you closed eyelids for a few minutes. The cold can help reduce inflammation and soothe itching.

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7. Blink regularly

Be conscious of blinking more frequently. Blinking helps spread a protective layer of tears over your eyes, which can minimize discomfort.

8. Maintain proper 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 that they come in handy whenever you sense any irritation in your eyes.

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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