When smoke gets in your eyes

As smoke from the Australian bushfires spread across our beautiful country, many people are feeling the effects in their eyes, even those who live miles away from the hotspots. People with dry eye, blepharitis or allergic conjunctivitis are particularly sensitive to the pain smoke can cause.

Here are a few simple steps to reduce smoke exposure and smooth your burning eyes;

1. Over the counter artificial tears

Eye drops can rectify any discomfort or blurry vision from excessive smoke and dust particles in the air.

If you already use artificial tears, you may want to double your application until the smoke dissipates. Please seek medical advice from your specialist before increasing the dose.

2. Cool your eyes

Store your artificial tears in your fridge to keep cool. Lay down with a cold compress over your eyes to ease discomfort.

3. Reduce outdoor activities

It is best to stay inside if you’re sensitive to the smoke. Close the doors and windows to keep the smoke out. It’s the perfect time to watch that Netflix series, catch up on housework, start journaling or do home workouts!

4. Avoid inside air pollution

Smokes, such as those caused by candles and incense sticks are all sources of indoor air pollution that should be avoided at this time.

5. Use an air purifier

An air purifier with a high efficiency particle air filter will reduce the number of fine particles indoors. To work well, the air purifier must be matched to the size of the room it is in and the room must be well sealed.

6. Be alert

Watch the news and check social media sites to monitor smoke alerts and updates.

For long periods of smoke haze, it may be impossible to stay indoors all the time. Monitor your local air quality to find out when the risk of smoke exposure is low and it is the right time to go outside. Air quality information and health messages are available on dpie.nsw.gov.au

7. Spend time in air-conditioned venues

If you’re getting cabin fever, it’s time to spend some time in air-conditioned venues, like the cinemas, libraries, gym and shopping centres.

8. Wear glasses or googles

Specialist often recommend googles for people with dry eyes. Googles are helpful for anyone sensitive to the smoke. Wrap around glasses and sunglasses will provide a barrier to the smoke. Wiley X control glasses are designed to keep dust, pollen, wind and other airborne irritants at bay, while also preventing eye irritation caused by dehydration.

9. Visit your specialist

If you’re feeling the effect of smoke from the fires, make an appointment with your specialist or call our friendly team at Focus Eye Centre today: (02) 9663 3927 You can also call Health direct Australia on 1800 022 222 for advice and support.

Like all Australians, our deepest sympathies go out to everyone impacted by the bushfires and our gratitude for the firefighters that are working so hard to save our beautiful country, neighbours’ homes and extraordinary wildlife.

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