Opticians are warning the public to keep an eye out for irritation and redness as the Met Office issues a high level pollution warning - due to Sahara dust cloud sweeping the UK.

Health warning 

Scientists claim that the pollution levels will also be compounded by toxic farm chemicals being blown in from Europe. The rise in pollution has triggered a health warning for people suffering from heart and respiratory conditions. There is also an increased risk of irritation to the nose and eyes.

Dust can irritate eyes

Dr Nigel Best, Specsavers’ clinical spokesperson said, ‘Dust of this kind, especially mixed with pollution, can irritate the eyes causing an inflammatory response that can result in swollen, red, itchy, or watery eyes. The best way to avoid this is to limit exposure of the eyes to dust.'

'If your eyes feel irritated you should discuss this with your local optometrist who can recommend lubricating drops to help flush the irritants from your eye. Wearing wraparound sunglasses will also create a barrier, limiting the amount of dust reaching the eye. Of course, if you are able to, stay indoors.’

Top tips from Dr Nigel Best

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to create a barrier between the eyes and dust
  • Carry lubricating drops to wash away any irritants
  • See your local optometrist if you experience any irritation or redness 

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