The pollution and smog in Delhi NCR has become an annual feature around this time of the year. Apart from increase in allergies and respiratory issues ,the pollution also affects the eyes.The pollutants affects the surface of eyes causing allergies and dryness. Many patients in our opd complain of eyestrain, redness, irritation, itching ,watering, burning sensation and transient blurred vision.
So what can we do to protect our eyes from pollution?
- Use spectacles or goggles when you step out as they shield your exposed eye surface from the harmful particulates in air.
- Excessive Screen usage causes eye strain and dryness of eyes and these symptoms get aggravated in pollution times. We advice everyone to decrease screen time or take frequent eye breaks from screen ( 20:20 rule is to close your eyes every 20mins for 20 secs ).
- Use Lubricating eye drops if there is burning sensation or irritation.
- For tired eyes , do cold compression over closed eyelids. You can use cotton dipped in chilled RO water or the silicone gel eye mask by cooling them in fridge
- Avoid contact lens when pollution is high as they increase the dryness n grittiness. If you have to use them then put preservative free lubricating eye drops over the contact lens couple of times a day.
- On days of very bad AQI , stay indoors mostly and use air purifier.
- Avoid oily and rich food. Stick to green veggies, fruits, fish, carrots, walnuts, super seeds which are all excellent sources of antioxidants . Stay hydrated
- Practice hand hygiene which means to wash handafter you’ve been in a public place to avoid eye infections .Avoid touching your eyes
- Do not ignore any eye symptom. Visit your ophthalmologist