Eye Care During Pollution: Follow These Simple Tips For Instant Relief

Eye Care During Pollution: Follow These Simple Tips For Instant Relief

Polluted air can hurt our eyes, both outdoors and indoors. Outdoor and indoor air pollution is derived from different sources and can cause different eye diseases

Dr Hansaji YogendraUpdated: Sunday, March 17, 2024, 02:43 AM IST
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Pic: Freepik

Polluted air can hurt our eyes, both outdoors and indoors. Outdoor and indoor air pollution is derived from different sources and can cause different eye diseases. Our eyes have lots of nerves, especially in the cornea, making them very sensitive to pollutants in the air. With only a thin layer of tear film protecting them, our eyes can get easily irritated by pollution.

Effects of pollution

Pollution can cause all sorts of eye problems such as:

Making our eyes feel itchy, red, and watery

Causing difficulties in seeing clearly

Leading to conditions like conjunctivitis and dry eyes

Interfering with our vision, making it challenging to distinguish colours and focus

Triggering allergic reactions that cause swelling and itching in the eyes

Simple tips for quick relief

Simple methods can provide quick relief when our eyes feel irritated from pollution:

Cold compress: Placing a cold, damp cloth over closed eyes reduces swelling and alleviates the burning sensation. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, reducing inflammation and providing immediate relief. It also helps soothe irritated eyes by washing away pollutants and debris.

Pic: Freepik

Eye bathing: Submerging our eyes in clean water can effectively wash away pollutants and soothe irritation. This method helps flush out irritants and hydrates the eyes, reducing discomfort caused by pollution exposure.

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water maintains eye moisture and aids in flushing out pollutants from the eyes. Adequate hydration supports tear production, which is essential for lubricating and protecting the eyes from environmental contaminants.

Take screen breaks: Prolonged screen time can strain our eyes and exacerbate irritation, especially in polluted environments. Taking regular breaks and focusing on distant objects helps relax the eye muscles and reduce strain, promoting eye comfort and reducing the risk of digital eye strain.

Wear sunglasses outdoors: Wearing sunglasses with UV protection shields our eyes from harmful UV rays and airborne pollutants present in outdoor environments. By blocking out harmful radiation and reducing exposure to pollutants, sunglasses help maintain eye health and minimize irritation and discomfort.

Pic: Freepik

Additional eye care

In addition to quick remedies, implementing these practices can help maintain optimal eye health:

Use eye masks: Using an eye mask aids in relaxation, particularly beneficial after extended screen time. Eye masks help soothe tired eyes, reduce puffiness, and alleviate strain, promoting overall eye comfort and relaxation.

Do not rub your eyes: Refraining from rubbing your eyes is crucial for preventing irritation and potential damage. Rubbing can introduce harmful bacteria and irritants, leading to inflammation, redness, and discomfort. Instead, use gentle cleansing techniques to alleviate any discomfort.

Consume eye-healthy foods: Incorporating eye-healthy foods into your diet provides essential nutrients that support optimal eye function. Foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, contribute to eye health and protect against age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions. Carrots, mangoes, papayas, and leafy greens are excellent sources of these nutrients, promoting strong, healthy eyes and reducing the risk of vision problems.

 Tratak Kriya: Tratak Kriya involves focusing your gaze on a single point or object. To practice:

Sit comfortably and light a candle about 16 to 20 inches away.

Gaze at the tip of the flame or the wick until tears flow or your eyes feel tired.

Close your eyes and visualize the object or its image.

Cup your eyes with your palms and slowly open them.

Benefits include strengthening eye muscles and improving vision clarity.

Simple eye exercises

Performing specific eye exercises helps reduce strain and enhance flexibility. These exercises can include eye rolls, focusing exercises, and eye massages, all of which promote blood circulation, strengthen eye muscles and contribute to improved vision and overall eye health.

Blink rapidly around 20 times to moisturize the eyes and prevent dryness.

Rotate your eyeballs clockwise and counterclockwise to enhance eye mobility.

Rub your hands together to generate warmth, then cover your eyes with them to relax the eye muscles.

While incorporating these practices into your routine can offer holistic benefits for eye care, remember the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle and consuming a nutritious diet to support overall eye health. By following these easy tips for quick relief and making small changes to protect our eyes every day, we can keep them feeling good and seeing well for a long time. 

(Dr Hansaji Yogendra is the director of The Yoga Institute. She is also the president of the Indian Yoga Association and the International Board of Yoga)

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