In many parts of the country, wildfire season has arrived. This means that the air around you may be filled with toxic particles, in addition to the various allergens associated with summer and fall. But, if you suffer from chronic Dry Eye Disease (DED) or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), or if your eyes are fine except during wildfire season, relief is available. Consider the following points for preventing and treating dry eye symptoms over the next several months.
Dry Eye and Wildfire Smoke
If you already suffer from DED or MGD, the excess of particles in the air from smoke can add to your existing condition. You may notice an increase in the symptoms you usually experience from dry eye disease. If you don’t normally have dry eye problems, wildfire smoke could trigger a temporary or newly chronic variety of symptoms.
You may suffer from different symptoms at different times throughout the season. Typically, the signs to look for include:
- Watery eyes
- Excessive dryness
- Painful sensation such as burning or stinging
- A feeling of grittiness or griminess in the eyes
Steps to Take to Avoid Wildfire Smoke
First, you might take some preventative measures to ward off the effects of wildfire smoke on your eyes. When smoke is in the air, take these steps to avoid exposure to wildfire smoke:
- Avoid vacuuming if possible
- When you must vacuum, use a machine with a HEPA filter
- Install a HEPA filter in your home HVAC system
- Stay indoors as much as you can
- Eliminate or decrease the presence of indoor smoke sources, such as from a wood stove or fireplace, candles, incense, and tobacco
- Keep the windows and doors closed in your home and at work if possible, and in your vehicles
- Use recirculated air in your vehicles. And close the fresh air intake vent on your AC unit if applicable
- Wash your hands frequently, and don’t touch your eyes. If your hands do make contact with your eyes, flush your eyes immediately with water
- Follow the exact instructions that come with your contact lenses, and wash and dry your hands before you touch them
Home Treatments for Dry Eye During the Wildfire Season
You may not always be able to avoid wildfire smoke completely. Thankfully, you can implement some effective treatments for dry eye at home. Use products designed to keep your eyes lubricated and clear of debris. You may also want to take a nutritional supplement designed specifically for dry eye (such as an omega-3 formula) or one for general eye health.
Another proven remedy for dry eye symptoms is the application of warm compresses like our EyeGiene® Insta-Warmth™ system with Warming Wafers™. These should be used daily during the wildfire season, just as many people with DED use them daily throughout the year.
Don’t Let Wildfire Smoke Destroy Your Summer!
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Dry Eye Disease can be irritating at any time, but their symptoms may be much worse due to wildfire smoke. Even people who don’t have chronic eye problems can feel the painful and bothersome effects of smoke in the air.
EyeGiene warm eye compresses are the best eye masks for dry eye symptoms, as well as for eyes affected by wildfires. The EyeGiene mask system is portable and easy to use, with self-warming wafers that slip into a comfortable mask. Don’t forget to check out our targeted nutritional supplements, too.
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