environment

How the Environment Can Harm Your Eyes

Your eyes have an excellent defense system in place that protects them from environmental damage. Your eyebrows and eyelashes serve as a barrier against dust and dirt, your eyelids blink to keep out foreign objects, and your tear ducts produce a film that coats them. However, your peepers remain sensitive organs and can still be affected by the environment around you. Here are some things that may be damaging your eyes.

 

Ultraviolet Rays

Sunlight contains invisible UVA and UVB rays. Like your skin, your eyes can be damaged by them over time. It’s important, therefore, to wear sun protection outdoors. Sunglasses that protect against the full UV spectrum and wide-brimmed hats that shield your eyes from the sun’s rays are excellent ways to keep your eyes protected against damage.

 

Environmental Pollutants

Urban smog and cigarette smoke can cause dry eyes. This condition occurs when there isn’t enough lacrimal fluid to coat your eyes. You may also find that dry air from heating systems or drafts from air conditioners also have an effect on your eyes’ ability to produce enough tear fluid. Your optometrist can prescribe artificial tears to help.

 

Excessive Screen Time

While excessive screen time isn’t known to cause long-term vision damage, it can cause eye strain. Your optometrist can provide solutions, such as blue light-filtering lenses to use during long hours working on the computer. When you stare at the screen for a long time, you may also get dry eyes because you forget to blink. Your optometrist can recommend eye drops to help, but it’s also important to take a little “eye-break” now and then to rest them.

 

Allergies

Hay fever, dust, and pets can all be sources of itchy, red, and watery eyes. Avoiding the environmental triggers of these allergies is the ideal solution, but isn’t always possible, especially if the cause of your allergies is hard to identify. Optometrists can recommend anti-allergy eye drops to help reduce the effects. For many people, over-the-counter antihistamines also work well, but some of these can cause drowsiness.

 

Eye Care in Edmonton

If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye symptoms, or you need glasses or sunglasses, Optometrists’ Clinic, Inc. can help. Our five locations offer a variety of services. Simply contact us today to book an appointment.

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