Eye Health Advice as High Levels of Air Pollution hit UK

The Eyecare Trust has issued the following health advice as large areas of England are affected by high pollution levels caused by a combination of light winds, continential air flow and dust blown from the Sahara desert.

Typical symptoms from exposure to high level of air polution include:

  • A constant feeling that you have grit or dust in your eye
  • Painful, itchy or bloodshot eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • A sticky discharge

Those most at risk include contact lens wearers, the elderly and people who suffer from dry eye. Symptoms may also be worse in urban areas where air quality is already poor.

To minimise potential eye irritation...

  • Wear sunglasses (wrap-around styles are best) to prevent pollutants entering your eyes
  • Stay indoors when pollution levels are at their peak
  • Apply a cool compress to relieve discomfort
  • Lubricating eye drops may help prevent soreness or itching
  • Contact lens wearers should remove their lenses at the first sign of eye irritation and thoroughly clean them in their medicated cleaning solution

If symptoms persist you should seek advice from your local optometrist.

For more information about air pollution levels visit


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