How to Handle Airborne Irritants



Our eyes are always vulnerable to our environment. Whether it’s dust, pollution or pollen, when an irritant finds its way to the eye’s surface it can be itchy, uncomfortable and extremely distracting. The temptation may be to rub the eyes, but this can actually cause further redness and discomfort. Hastily removing a foreign particle without taking the proper precautions can also make the problem worse. Here are a few steps you can take to remove irritants in the eyes and soothe the itchiness that comes with them.

Dust and Dirt

Specks of sand and dust from the air can easily become lodged in the eye especially on a windy day or when doing DIY. These can cause irritation and can sometimes be quite painful when blinking or looking side to side. It can be tempting to remove the offending particle by hand, however the skin on our hands can carry bacteria which can lead to further irritation and even infection. Cleansing the eyes using Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash is one way to remove offending particles without risking further damage.

If the object lodged further within the eye, you may need to resort to manual removal. In this case, never touch the eye using your fingers. Looking in the opposite direction of the irritant, use a clean tissue or cotton swab to gently remove the particle. Follow this with Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash to remove any excess fragments. If the particle cannot be removed, it’s important to see a doctor immediately who will examine your eye professionally.


Some airborne irritants are too small to see with the naked eye. However, every year, millions of hay fever sufferers experience the discomfort of itchy eyes during the spring and summer months. Removing pollen while you’re on the go can be tricky. However, you can take preventative measures by protecting the eyes with sunglasses and keeping the windows shut in your car.

You can also relieve the symptoms by applying one or two quick sprays of Optrex 2in1 Actimist Itchy and Watery Eyes*. This can even be applied while the user has eye make up on and is suitable to use with contact lenses. When you come in from the outdoors, and if your eyes are still itchy, you can cleanse them by using Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash and take a shower to remove any excess irritants from the skin and hair.

Smoke and Pollution

Millions of urban dwellers experience tired and uncomfortable eyes, which can be made worse by the pollutions from traffic and train-lines. Likewise, people who smoke or work in smoky environments can also suffer this complaint. Pollution and smoke can irritate the sensitive surface of the eyes making them feeling heavy and uncomfortable. If these symptoms sound familiar, it’s good to have fast relief while you’re on the go. Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops for Tired Eyes are specifically designed to help soothe and revitalise tired, sore, and uncomfortable eyes. If you prefer using spray, Optrex 2in1 Actimist for Tired and Uncomfortable Eyes* can also provide relief without the need to apply drops. 

Final Tips

Whether it’s a grain of sand or the invisible effects of air pollution, airborne irritants can be itchy, distracting and can even become painful. If you’re feeling the ill-effects of an airborne irritant, remember:

  • Never rub or scratch the eyes. This can lead to further discomfort and even damage the eye’s surface.
  • Carry an on-the-go solution such as Optrex 2in1 Actimist for relief from irritation.
  • Try cleansing the eyes using an eye wash before considering manual removal.
  • Always wash hands thoroughly when examining the eye.
  • If a particle is stubbornly lodged or causing severe discomfort, see a doctor or an eye specialist as soon as possible.

 *Itchy, watery, tired and uncomfortable eye symptoms due to disturbed lipid layer of the tear film.


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