How to Protect Your Eyes from Various Environmental Factors

Posted September 15, 2022


The only organ in our body that is more complicated than the eye is our brain, so it’s a “no brainer” that the importance of protecting our eyes should be a top priority. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case for some individuals and we often forget about properly caring for our eyes compared to the other parts of our bodies. 

Environmental factors like pollutants, toxic gasses and chemicals, bacteria, smoking, and ultraviolet radiation can irritate and damage various parts of the eye. While the eye is created with natural, protective mechanisms (including eyelids, eyelashes, and tears) that help to protect against elements like wind, dust, and bright lights – the fact of the matter is, our eyes are open most of our lives in order to see which leaves them more vulnerable.

With that being said, it’s important to understand how chronic and repeated exposure to even small amounts of pollutants can damage parts of your eye. Truthfully, there aren’t many immediate techniques to reduce certain damage caused by environmental factors. However, there are steps you can take to protect your eyes and your vision from these harmful effects. Let’s explore the best ways we can go about protecting yourself to avoid any potential problems with your vision! 


Tips to Protect Your Eyes 


Wear Protective Glasses or Sunglasses

This may seem like common sense, but much like wearing a mask to protect against the effects of COVID-19 – wearing protective glasses or sunglasses can do wonders for your eye health. It won’t provide you with 100% protection from various harmful effects, but they will reduce the amount of pollutants that are entering your eyes on a daily basis. Additionally, investing in a pair of UV protective lenses is always suggested as a top preventative measure toward ultimate eye protection. 


Avoid the Urge to Rub Irritated Eyes 

When your eyes are inflamed as a result of environmental factors they tend to itch and burn. As a natural response, we tend to want to rub our burning and irritated eyes, but it’s imperative to avoid doing this. Rubbing your eyes may give you instant relief, but truthfully, the action could only be causing greater irritation or lead to infection. 


Invest in High-Quality Lubricating Drops

If you’re someone that is constantly struggling with eye irritation, it might be beneficial to invest in some high-quality lubricating drops. Environmental irritants do contribute to dry eye, a condition that prevents the formation of tears or adequate moisture for your eyes. Utilizing these stimulants not only provides the right amount of moisture for your eye, but it also flushes out those irritants that are bothering you. When looking for the best lubricating eye drops, it’s important to look for a brand that is made without preservatives. Preservative-free eye drops are clearly labeled as such on the package. Quality lubricating eye drop brands include Refresh, Thera Tears, Systane, and Optase! 


Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly 

It’s no secret that frequent eye irritation could be the result of exposure to environmental factors, including pollution, dust, bacteria, chemicals, or other irritants. While this is something we all have to deal with, some individuals may find themselves with more personalized symptoms, which could be the start of a greater concern. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends maintaining regular eye appointments to receive routine care with a professional who can help solve these kinds of problems effectively. If you’re noticing significant changes in your vision, whether directly related to environmental issues or not – schedule your appointment immediately and we’ll be able to help get those issues taken care of through proper treatment! 

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