Is Poor Air Quality Hurting Your Eyes?

Posted on: 27 August 2018

If you live near a highway, busy intersection, or even a refinery, the air quality in your local area may already be on your mind. Breathing polluted air can have a serious impact on your health, but it still might surprise you to learn that it could be hurting your eyes, too. If you want to protect your vision and eye health, read on to discover the big problems with air pollution and how you can protect your eyes.

The Evidence

There are several studies indicating that there seems to be a link between poor air quality and the eyes. One study discovered that during abnormally poor air quality days, more people ended up seeking emergency ophthalmological care.

Another study showed that people who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution on a regular basis had more ophthalmological problems, and one more showed that even indoor air quality could be a threat.

While there are still some questions to be answered about eye health and the air you breathe, it's becoming apparent that there is a link between your air quality and your eyes.

The Symptoms

Symptoms and the results of this poor air quality vary wildly. For some people, their eyes may feel sensitive, itchy, dry, or sore when exposed to higher air pollution. Others may have no outward symptoms at all until a more severe problem is triggered or caused by pollution.

Because it can be difficult to tell if your eyes are being impacted by poor air quality yourself, it's a good idea to visit an eye doctor. They can provide a thorough examination and determine if damage has been done to your eyes or if you show signs of eye irritation. Treatment can help to control your symptoms and may improve or protect the health of your eyes.

Getting Relief

In addition to visiting an eye doctor, there are some things you can do at home to start protecting your eyes from poor air quality.

You can start off by purchasing an air purifier for your home. This will filter dangerous substances out of your air and prevent them from irritating your eyes. If you open the windows on a regular basis, it's a good idea to run a filter during and afterward to ensure that any carcinogens coming in from outside are filtered out.

Furthermore, you should try to avoid going outside or opening your windows during the worst air pollution days. The EPA offers a free tool to check the air quality in your area, so give it a look when making plans.

Air pollution can be a real problem for your eyes and may be doing damage to yours without your even realizing it. If you haven't seen an eye doctor in a long time or ever before, it's time to schedule an exam to ensure that your eyes are healthy. For more information, contact a local ophthalmologist

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