Wildfire season smoke can affect your eyes - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Wildfire season smoke can affect your eyes

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BOZEMAN -

When it comes to health during fire season, we often hear about air quality and respiratory problems, but doctors want you to know about the effect the smoke can have on not just your lungs but also your eyes.

Bozeman eye doctors say it's important to keep your eyes protected from the smoke.

Dr. Andria Weber, a Bozeman optometrist, says many patients come in with symptoms from fire season.

"We have people who come in that we've never seen before just because their eyes hurt or their eyes are red and stinging,” said Dr. Weber. “They ask what is wrong with me? I point out and say see that along the horizon and say that’s smoke you know. It's in your eyes."

Dr. Weber says there are many symptoms that come with wildfire smoke.

"Often times they think it’s just the dryness from allergies, but really it’s the smoke,” said Dr. Weber. “It is a chemical in the air, when it dissolves in your tears there can be stinging and burning. It can be pretty uncomfortable."

That's why Dr. Weber says it's important to keep your eyes clean during wildfire season.

"In an area that is being evacuated there is cinders flying through the air or particulates,” said Dr. Weber. “Good hygiene is important.”

The smoke doesn't have to be thick to affect your eyes.

"It doesn't have to be big particles,” said Dr. Weber. “It's the chemistry and you don't know what's being burned up out there."

What you can do to protect your eyes is to wear some type of glasses.

“It blocks some of the air wafting across your eyes,” said Dr. Weber. “Contacts lens wear should wear some sunglasses. “That's going to reduce the amount of air wafting across the eye, but the eyes are still going to be exposed."

Bozeman eye doctors say the best thing you can do is if you do have any symptoms call your closest eye doctor.

     

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