Amazingly enough, here in Maryland, smoke from the California wildfires has spread across the country and people are feeling the effects in their eyes.  People who already suffer from eye conditions such as dry eye, blepharitis, or allergic conjunctivitis are especially susceptible to the burning and stinging eye pain that smoke can cause.

Get relief from wildfire smoke with these 5 tips:
  • Over-the-counter artificial tears. Patients with underlying conditions already using artificial tears may want to double their application until the smoke dissipates.
  • Cool your eyes. Keeping artificial tears in the refrigerator is a great way to have something cool ready to rinse your eyes. Lying down with a cold compress over your eyes is also soothing.
  • Stay indoors. Particularly if you have an underlying condition that makes you more sensitive to the smoke, such as dry eye, it’s best to close the windows and stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Wear glasses or goggles. Specialty goggles that are often prescribed to patients with dry eye can be a great option for anyone experiencing sensitivity to smoke in the air. And close-fitting glasses or sunglasses will provide at least some barrier that slows the stream of air going into your eyes.
  • Improve your indoor air with an air filter. A HEPA air purifier can help keep wildfire smoke out of your home.
If problems persist, give us a call at the office.  Dr. Barr can take a look at your eyes to rule out other possible reasons for your eye discomfort. After that exam, he may prescribe a stronger treatment, such as a brief course of anti-inflammatory medication, to soothe your eyes until the smoke clears.
Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

If you’re interested in talking to us about your eye health, contact us today!