The Threat is Real: Air Pollution in California Can Affect Your Vision

In the recent “State of the Air” report released by The American Lung Association, eight of the USA’s 10 most-polluted cities are in California. Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, Sacramento, Modesto, and Redding are a few cities in California reported for being highly ozone-polluted.

The rise in ozone pollution

Ozone pollution increases in warmer temperatures. Smog that is formed on warm, sunny days is a mix of toxic chemicals and gases emitted from vehicles and industrial plants. The pollution level has risen to such a high level that it is affecting millions of Americans. Some of the health concerns reported are asthma, lung cancer, premature death, cardiovascular disease, developmental and reproductive damage. And due to the constant change in temperature and climate, it has become harder to reduce ozone pollution and protect human health. There are 3 main factors that contribute to unhealthy levels of air pollution in California:

  • The activities of 33 million people generate large amounts of pollutants in the air.
  • The terrain or topography of California traps pollution.
  • The warm temperature and sunny climate help in the formation of ozone and other pollutants.

Living in these polluted cities increases the risk for dry eye syndrome.

Pollution can cause dry eyes leading to dry eye syndrome.

Adequate and consistent production of tears is essential to keep your eyes healthy. Pollutants in the air can damage the normal production of tear leading to dry eye syndrome. This deficiency in tear production hampers a person’s quality of life. The condition affects up to 4 million Americans aged 50 and older. With the rise in pollution levels, more and more people are diagnosed with dry eye syndrome.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Discomfort wearing contact lenses
  • Stinging and burning in the eyes
  • Dryness of eye
  • Eye soreness
  • Blurry vision
  • Sticky eyelids
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Photophobia
  • Fatigue eyes

Protect Your Eyes From Air Pollution

  1. Stay hydrated

The easiest way to protect your eyes from air pollution is by staying hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water. It is essential to keep your body hydrated if you want your eyes to produce adequate amount of tears.

  1. Wear sunglasses

When outdoors, sunglasses are great for providing the required protection to your eyes. They save your eyes from dust, debris or any harmful particles present in the air.

  1. Increase indoor humidity

Increasing the humidity levels indoor is an ideal way to protect your eyes. The air outside is dry but you can keep the air in your home moist. The humidity will not only keep your eyes moist but will also help in clearing your sinuses.

  1. Food for dry eyes

Many people overlook the effect of proper nutrition on health. A daily intake of foods rich in fish oil, antioxidants, and foods omega-3s is a super effective prevention method.

  1. Stay indoors when pollution levels are at their peak

If there is high level of particulate matter in the air, limit your exposure to outdoors. Stay indoors. Even if you have to get outside, protect your eyes with spectacles and/or masks.

While it is extremely important to protect your internal organs from air pollution by wearing a mask, it is equally important to protect your eyes too. If you are living in Fresno, California, which is one of the cities reported as highly ozone-polluted, it is recommended to get your eyes examined by an experienced Ophthalmologist in Fresno, CA. Give a call on (559) 449-5050 to Insight Vision Center today.

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