As wildfires continue to cause poor air quality in the northeastern United States, smoke and pollution also continue to exacerbate existing medical conditions. Prolonged exposure to these levels of smoke and pollution can also cause harm to the eyes, including dryness, redness, and inflammation. Serious harm from air pollution can include an increased risk in age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and conjunctivitis.
Here are some tips to help prevent irritation caused by smoke:
- Stay indoors when possible, close windows, and turn on central air conditioning if you live in an area affected by wildfires
- Refresh your eyes with artificial tears and avoid rinsing your eyes with tap water
- Wash your hands regularly, especially if you wear contact lenses, and avoid rubbing your eyes
- Rest with a soft, cold washcloth on closed eyelids
If eye irritation occurs and lasts longer than a few days, or if your vision becomes blurry, we urge you to contact our team at Island Eye Care. As always, we’re here for all of your eye care needs.