Deteriorating air quality has become a major concern, and harmful air pollution levels in Delhi and surrounding areas are once again on the rise. Because the eyes are one of the most sensitive and important organs in the body, they are prone to illness. “Infants and elderly being much more sensitive and delicate than middle aged people are affected most by indoor and outdoor air pollution. Long term exposure to air pollutants are known to cause difficulties like red eyes, irritation or itching, dry eyes and in some cases the swelling of the eyes,” says Prof. Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, Chairman and Managing Director, Centre for Sight.
Because of poor air quality containing dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and coarse dust particles, there is an increase in the number of cases with red, watery eyes and various eye allergies during the months of November and December. These particles and gases are hazardous to the human eye.
Problems caused by air pollution which are currently being seen in patients:
– Watery eyes
– Eye irritation
– Eye swelling
– Red eyes
– Itching in eyes
Dr Sachdev shares some prevention tips
1. Children and adults should avoid rubbing their eyes even if particulates enter them and should wash eyes thoroughly with water
2. Try to restrict going out especially early in the morning and evening hours when there is lot of smog outside, if going out elders are advised to wear sunglasses for protection. As the face masks act for our lungs similarly, the glasses work for our eyes.
3. Lubricate the eyes with eye drops prescribed by your doctor 2-3 times a day which will help in relaxing the eye muscles.
4. Infants and elderly people should drink a lot of fluids as Intake of water is best for the body and eyes. It not only keeps you hydrated but also flushes out harmful toxins and waste from the body.