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Tips On How to Protect Your Eyes From Wildfire Smoke

With recent wildfires on the West Coast, you may be struggling with vision problems because of smoky, toxic air.

Symptoms of eye irritation triggered by wildfire smoke include: burning, itching, watering, redness and foreign body sensation.

Check out these tips to help protect your eyes from wildfire smoke in the air:

ARTIFICIAL TEARS: Use lubricating/artificial tears 3-4 times throughout the day. It is best to use preservative-free artificial tears. Do not use Visine or Clear Eyes as they can cause further rebound redness. I usually recommend preservative-free refresh tears for lubrication. If itching persists even with artificial tear use, you can use over-the-counter Zaditor, Alaway or Pataday eye drops. Click here to learn more about at-home dry eye treatment options.

DON’T RUB YOUR EYES: You can transfer dust from your hands or cause further irritation/scratch the surface of the eye. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

STAY INDOORS: Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed.

WASH HANDS: Wash hands regularly. Especially before you handle your contact lenses. Avoid wearing contact lenses if possible.

COLD COMPRESSES: Cold compresses can help alleviate itching.

If you think you have an eye infection, contact your local eye doctor instead of going to urgent care as they do not have necessary equipment and diagnostic tools to fully assess the health of the eye.

Dr. Kaur


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