Protect your eyes from airborne irritants

Man itching irritated eyes

When your eyes are open they are vulnerable to your environment. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, minuscule irritants such as dust or pollen can come into contact with the eye, causing irritation and discomfort. Naturally, it’s hard to predict when an airborne irritant might affect the eye, but when you’re working in a dusty or outdoor environment, your eyes are more at risk of exposure to irritants and it’s important to take steps to protect them and to have the right solution  on hand in case of an incident.


DIY Safety

Working in construction or carrying out DIY tasks at home can leave our eyes exposed to tiny fragments of irritants in the air. Common types of injuries can be caused by flying chips of wood and metals from DIY tasks. Many tasks such as stripping paint, mounting shelves, sawing, hammering, and sanding can all produce irritant particles and should be carried out wearing the correct eye protection.

Eye goggles can be easily purchased from your local DIY shop. These will not only protect the eyes but will help you to see more clearly, helping you avoid other potential hazards or accidents. These should also be worn when using substances such as spray paint or varnish which contain chemicals which can be very harmful to the eye. Make sure your safety goggles are clean both inside and out before wearing them and store them in a clean environment away from any harmful residues.


Protection from Pollen

When spring and summer bloom, pollens become more prevalent in the air. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to a substance, such as grass or tree pollen, which the body interprets to be harmful. This causes a release of chemical histamine which can irritate the eyes causing symptoms such as itching, watering and redness. Simple steps, like wearing sunglasses while gardening, can help to guard the eyes against invading pollens.

You can also minimise your exposure to airborne pollens by keeping your windows shut and using pollen filters in your car. While it’s not always possible to steer clear of pollens entirely, you can also treat your irritated eye symptoms quickly and easily using Optrex 2in1 Actimist for Itchy and Watery Eyes. One or two sprays applied to closed eyes can soothe itchy eyes* and help you get back to enjoying the sunshine.

Cleansing using Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash

Even when wearing protection, incidents can still happen and it’s important to be able to take action should an irritant become lodged in the eye. Flooding the eye using an eye wash should be the first line of treatment. Never rub the eyes or attempt to remove the particle by hand. This is why many construction work environments will have a dedicated first aid station where the eyes can be cleaned, away from any further hazards.

If you’re carrying out DIY tasks at home, first make sure you have easy access to an eye bath, preferably by a sink where you can also wash your hands and face of any excess fragments. Eye baths such as Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash contain a formula which washes away particles to cleanse the eye and soothe tired and irritated eyes. Make sure your hands are clean before treating and read the label fully before use. If bathing the eye does not effectively remove the offending fragment, you may need to resort to manual removal using a clean tissue or cotton swab. For stubborn irritants or severe discomfort, be sure to seek the attention of a doctor or an eye specialist immediately.


Treating Redness and Irritation

It is natural for the eye to become red after coming into contact with a minor irritant. Do not be tempted to rub the eyes as this can cause further redness and corneal abrasion. Optrex Bloodshot Eye Drops relieve redness of the eye caused by minor eye irritations. The drops contain a formula which restores the normal flow of blood to remove redness. 

Firstly, wash your hands before applying the drops. Then tilting your head back, gently pull the corner of your lower lid down and apply one or two drops into the space between the lower eyelid and the eye.  Optrex Bloodshot Eye Drops can be used by adults, children over 12 years and the elderly up to four times a day for temporary relief from redness of the eye due to minor eye irritation.

Ultimately, keeping your eyes protected from airborne irritants not only helps to prevent discomfort and potential eye-injury, it can also help you to work more safely by helping you see and focus more clearly to avoid other potential hazards.

Before carrying out DIY tasks or working in the garden, take simple steps to protect yourself by wearing sunglasses or safety goggles. Make sure you have easy access to an eye bath and other treatments such as drops or spray. And above all, be sure to contact a specialist if the fragment cannot be removed. An ignored irritant can lead to long-term damage to the eye.

* Itchy and watery eye symptoms due to disturbed lipid layer of the tear film

Optrex Bloodshot Eye Drops is a medicine and contains hamamelis water and naphazoline hydrochloride for the temporary relief of redness of the eye due to minor eye irritations.  Always read the label.