With the early onset of wildfire season, decreased air quality could leave your eyes feeling like allergy season never left. Symptoms affecting the eyes such as itching, red, burning and watery eyes can all be caused by smoky air conditions.
Limit your exposure to smoke and prevent eye irritation with the following tips:
- Use lubricating eye drops or artificial tears to keep your eyes refreshed and help get rid of dust and particles that can irritate eyes.
- Don’t rub your eyes. You might transfer dust and ash from your hands or face to your eyes and that could scratch or irritate them. It’s also helpful to wash your hands regularly. If you wear contacts, this is no time to skimp on your contact lens hygiene – it’s always important to wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses so that the surface of your lenses stay free of eye irritants.
- Keep windows and doors closed to keep the air indoors clean. Running your air conditioner may also help but be sure to keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing in additional smoke. However, if it’s too warm to stay indoors with the windows and doors closed and you do not have air conditioning, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends seeking shelter elsewhere.
- The CDC also recommends limiting indoor air pollution by refraining from using anything that burns, like fireplaces, gas stoves and candles. Vacuums can also stir up dust already present in your home. Air filters are also recommended for those with respiratory conditions.
If you believe you have an eye infection or injury, get medical attention as soon as possible.
With the swiftness of wildfires, things can often get left behind during an evacuation. If you find yourself in need of replacement eyewear or eye care due to a natural disaster, help is available. Visit vspglobal.com/disateroutreach for more information.