How Air Quality Can Affect Your Eyesight

40% of the world’s garbage ends up in the air* after burning thus releasing millions of toxins, according to an air quality study by the Global Healing Center. It is damning that inhaling this kind of air cuts off 1-2 years of human life. Most often, air in urban areas is more contaminated due to industrialisation. The eye is a very sensitive organ and irritants such as dust and smoke have both a short term and long-term effect. Short-term effects include itchiness, tearfulness, soreness and red eyes. On the other hand, the effects of overly long exposure to these dust particles, or smoke often lead to conditions such as dry eye syndrome as witnessed in areas adversely affected by air pollution such as Beijing, which has occasions of smog.

Just what is dry eye syndrome?

Tears are made of three main components that are water, mucus and oil. The water is the moisturising component whilst the oil helps to keep this water from evaporating too quickly. Additionally, the mucus is what ensures an entire moisture coat across the eye. Dry eye syndrome is a condition caused by low eye tear production or excessive evaporation of the tears produced by the eye glands. All this is a result of pollutants in the air and it is a fact that the air outside our homes is cleaner than that inside and there are several hacks to clean it up.

Prevention and Treatment of Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye, has a varying number of remedies ranging from natural ones to artificial ones. As for the natural interventions, it is encouraged that we regularly consume fish rich in Omega 3 to replenish the natural oil reservoir of the eyes. As for the artificial interventions, eye drops are a good alternative. Thealoz Duo is recommended for dry eye relief and is available from all Barracloughs stores.

How to protect one’s eyes from poor air quality

It is possible to alleviate the problem of air pollution and its resultant effects such as dry eye by drinking enough water. Staying hydrated in turn replenishes the eyes fluid reservoir. This is in line with the usual doctors’ advice of at least 8 litres of fluids daily. Another good solution is wearing helmets and glasses when riding and swimming to protect the eye from dust and other particles. However, it has been proven that installation of air conditioners greatly helps avert the effects of low air quality on the eyes.


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