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  • Writer's pictureJaney Yee

Holy Smokes! How does all This Smog Affect our Eyes?

Air pollution, irritated eyes, smog, dry eyes, BC wildfires
Smog Over a Skyline

With the wildfires affecting a large part of B.C, everyone has noticed poorer air quality to the point that it’s even worse than the air in China.

We feel the effects of this never ending smog in the back of our throats, but it can also affect our eyes.

If you’ve ever had smoke blown into your eyes, you know it’s an irritant. The burning sensation, irritable eyes, and redness can be blamed on the pollutants in the air. Another major eye ailment that can be caused by smog is dry eyes. If you wear contact lenses, the smog can irritate you more since small particulate matter in the smog can stick to your contact lenses.

Our eyes need moisture to remain comfortable. Blinking helps provide this and if that doesn’t provide relief, over the counter artificial lubricating eye drops like Systane Ultra or Refresh Tears can help. For contact lens wearers, if your eyes are really irritated, red, or dry from all the smog, remove your lenses and wear your glasses until the air quality is better. If your symptoms persist, visit your optometrist.

Other ways to protect your eyes from air pollution:

* If the air seems “hazy” from pollution, limit your time outdoors if possible.

* When outdoors, protect your eyes with sunglasses, or clear safety glasses.

* If you wear contact lenses, clean your lenses thoroughly to ensure your contacts are disinfected and any particles are removed. Or start a new pair, just to be on the safe side.

Let’s hope we get some relief soon and we should thank all the volunteer firefighters for all their endless work in keeping this province beautiful!

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