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The Dangers Smoke Poses to Your Eyes

If you live in California, then you are probably familiar with the dangers of wildfires. Wildfires spread quickly and cause a lot of damage to the ecosystem and neighboring towns. Setting aside the obvious danger from the spread of fire, the smoke can be equally as detrimental to your health. Massive plumes of smoke created by wildfire can damage your lungs, but were you aware that the smoke can cause damage to your eyes as well?

can smoke damage your eyes - eye irritant in smoke

Exposure to smoke on any level can cause irritation to your eyes—symptoms such as burning sensations, redness, and tearing up are commonplace with exposure to smoke. Robert N. Weinreb MD, a distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California San Diego, claims that “even a healthy person’s eyes can be bothered” when it comes to smoke exposure and, particularly in the case of those with dry eye syndrome, “exacerbate symptoms.”

What causes this irritation is the existence of small particles, which are two and one half microns or less in size (for reference: 25,400 microns = 1 inch), within the smoke that get stuck in your eyes. These particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye. These particles can remain floating in the air long after the smoke has cleared, so if you are around fire or a place where large amounts of fire have been recently, many firefighters recommend the use of protective eyewear.

Most of time eye irritation from smoke can be cured with the use of over-the-counter artificial tears and the use of a cold compress, but if your eyes remain irritated for longer than a few days you should consult an eye doctor. Contact Washington Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule an appointment.

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Laser Vision Correction

If you are seeking a Washington DC LASIK eye surgery specialist you have come to the right place. Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons is located in Chevy Chase. Our LASIK surgeons are dedicated to creating the best possible LASIK eye surgery outcomes.

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Eyelid Surgery can reduce the aging, tired, or sad look caused by drooping eyelids. The Oculoplastic Surgeons also perform reconstructive surgery of the eye socket and orbital fractures of the facial bones, including eye prostheses, tearing problems, lid twitches, and blepharospasm.

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If you are seeking reduced dependence on eye glasses after cataract surgery in Washington DC, take a moment to explore advanced technology lenses such as Crystalens®, Acrysof® Restor, multifocal Tecnis® and Toric lenses for astigmatism correction.