How Does Pollution Affect Your Eyes?

Faced with environmental pollution, people are prone to eye diseases. Because
they are such vulnerable areas, the damage produced could be serious if not
prevented.
Not only light is harmful to the eye. So is the condition of the surrounding
environment. Air, water, and soil containing toxic contaminants are harmful. But
how to know which environmental factors can cause negative effects?
The first step is to know what the potential sources of risk are. In addition to the
usual polluting agents, ultraviolet radiation, temperature change, toxic gasses,
chemicals, tobacco smoke, and even cosmetics, deserve your attention.
These can cause eye diseases that negatively affect your quality of life. For
example, macular degeneration leads to visual loss. While dry eye considerably
decreases your eye performance, because it is a chronic condition.

5 Eye diseases caused by pollution

Most people do not know what pollutants are in the environment and can cause eye damage. They also have no knowledge about the most common eye diseases. As you can see, information is key when it comes to health. Being aware of this is essential in order to assertively prevent these conditions. Take a few minutes to read this article dedicated to the subject.

You will be surprised at the negative impact that a polluted environment has on vision. The good news is that it is in your hands to make a difference.

Implementing preventive measures is enough to prevent the onset of some eye diseases.

  1. Dry eye
    Dry eye is more common than it seems. In recent years, it has been related to polluting factors in the environment. It is also considered a disorder of the tear film due to the deficiency or excessive evaporation of tears.

Moreover, experts describe it as an ocular surface syndrome that is evident in the tear film. It is true that the use of contact lenses is one of the causes of dry eye, but it is now known that contact with air pollutants has the same effects.

Surely you are wondering what environmental factors influence the appearance and development of dry eyes. You should know that the particles of matter carried by air, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, are among them.

Given this bleak outlook, it is best to protect yourself to prevent the onset of eye diseases. However, this can be complicated depending on the environment where the individual’s daily routine takes place.

  1. Eye allergy
    Suffering from red eyes, swollen eyelids, excruciating itching, and constant tearing are signs of having an eye allergy. In many cases, it is even accompanied by discomfort in the nose, sneezing, and a runny nose.

    You know that allergies in the eyes are unpleasant. There are even people who prefer to avoid exposure to the environment and stay at home. Pollen, animal hair, and mold caused by humidity are the most common allergens.

    On the other hand, there is a significant number of allergens that vary depending on the season of the year. When they come into contact with the eyes they cause ocular allergy. It constantly occurs in the spring, autumn, and winter seasons.

    But it is also caused by some cosmetic products. Although it may seem ironic, certain eye drops influence the manifestation of the main symptoms. To reduce the chances of it appearing, it is important to follow these recommendations:
    ● Identify which are the allergens that harm you.
    ● Stay away from allergens.
    ● Stop wearing contact lenses, if your ophthalmologist recommends it.
    ● Use eye drops according to medical indications.
    ● Take antihistamines.
    ● Attend an ophthalmological consultation.

Each person has different characteristics. The same happens with ocular allergy since its symptoms vary depending on who suffers from it. Therefore, it is essential to have a medical diagnosis before resorting to any type of treatment.

  1. Blepharitis
    Don’t know how to identify this eye disease? Let us help you. You could have blepharitis if you notice redness and itching on the inner or outer edge of your eyelids. Specifically right on the line where the lashes are.

    To this, we must add the presence of inflammation, red, irritated, and watery eyes. As well as flaking at the base of the eyelashes. In certain cases, you may feel burning, and sensitivity to light is intense. Which generates great discomfort.

    But how is blepharitis related to environmental pollution? You see, constant exposure to air pollutants causes changes in the tear film. In turn, it influences the clinical course of blepharitis in patients.

    The action of carbon dioxide and weather conditions are factors that have a decisive impact on the appearance of this condition. It manifests itself in large cities, regardless of gender.

    Treatment of blepharitis usually includes care at the doctor’s office and at home. Bacteria and mites must be eliminated and the edge of the eyelids must be kept very clean. Only then can the Meibomian glands that have been obstructed function normally.
  2. Conjunctivitis
    There is a close relationship between environmental factors and this eye disease. For example, air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter increase the risk of conjunctivitis.

    This is suffered by those who are exposed to pollution for a long time. When air quality is not optimal due to smoke from cars and vehicles in general, chemical compounds and pollen become a latent threat to your eyes.

    Conjunctivitis occurs when the tissue called the conjunctiva becomes inflamed. In turn, this causes redness and tearing. To prevent this situation, it is best to follow medical recommendations.
  3. Acceleration of degenerative visual diseases
    Degenerative visual diseases in the past were associated only with age. But now it is suggested that exposure to high levels of gasses, mainly caused by the circulation of many vehicles, increases the risk of suffering from macular degeneration.

    Those who live in areas with higher levels of vehicle pollution are prone to developing macular degeneration. In the same way, smoking increases the chances of suffering from degenerative eye diseases thanks to the oxidative damage they generate.

    That said, the adverse effects of pollution should not be underestimated. The acceleration of degenerative conditions is on the rise today. Why? Well, the deterioration of the environment affects a large part of the population that lives in
    cities.

    How to protect your eyes from environmental
    pollution?


    Yes, it is possible to protect the eyes from contamination. It may be difficult, but not impossible. The first step to not harm the health of your vision is to know what conditions you are exposed to.

    Additionally, it is only enough to know and implement the suggestions of the experts. Pay attention to what follows and solve your concerns with your trusted ophthalmologist. There is no doubt that it is worth contributing to visual health.
    ● Avoid exposure to harmful agents. You already have a precise list of which
    are the most common. With this in mind, it will be easier for you to stay
    away from them.
    ● Stay away from vehicle smoke. Especially if you live in an overcrowded city.
    If it is not necessary to go outside, try to stay at home.
    ● Protect your eyes from the environment by wearing glasses prescribed by
    an ophthalmologist. This will minimize the influence of pollutants.
    ● Maintaining good hand hygiene is also essential. Putting your fingers to your
    eyes is a common practice and if there are bacteria, dirt, and dust in them,
    without a doubt your eyes will be contaminated.

● Drinking enough water throughout the day helps to form tears. That is, the
natural protection of the eyes that prevents dryness.
● Comply with a healthy diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vegetables, carrots,
spinach, almonds, walnuts, and animal proteins.
● Do you tend to rub your eyes with your hands? Put aside this harmful habit
to avoid irritation and possible damage to the cornea.
● Using eye drops, if you are not allergic to them, helps keep your eye
hydrated and less likely to dry out.
● If you have regular itching consult with an eye specialist or visit eye care
center


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