The term “Harmattan” refers to a dry, dusty wind that blows from December to February along the coast of West Africa. During this phase, if your eyes are red, itchy, teary, or you feel like they are gritty, this may be why.
Increased ocular irritation, dryness, and discomfort in the eyes may result from harmattan’s dry and dusty surroundings. Wind-borne fine dust particles have the potential to irritate the eyes mechanically and exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Those who already suffer from dry eye syndrome should be especially aware of this. Additionally, airborne dust can obstruct vision, making it difficult for people with sensitive eyes to see clearly.
Here are some tips for keeping your eyes safe during harmattan.
Put on sunglasses: Protect your eyes from harmful dust by wearing sunglasses. They do not only give you a more stylish look, but they also act as a shield from unpleasant particles.
Use ocular lubricants: Apply lubricating eye drops to maintain the moisture in your eyes. This collection of eye drops can support the preservation of hydration in the eyes. Consult your eye doctor for more information.
Refrain from rubbing your eyes: You reduce the chance of causing more irritation by resisting the impulse to massage your eyes. Should irritation continue, speak with your optometrist.
When dust is most prevalent, stay inside: Reduce your exposure to dust by remaining inside during the hours when dust is most likely to occur. Your eyes will be much less affected if you take this little action.
Ensure adequate hydration: Getting enough water into your body is beneficial to eye health in general. To fight the dry circumstances linked to harmattan, stay well-hydrated. Increase your water intake.
Just keep in mind that maintaining good eye health throughout harmattan is essential. If you have recurrent dry eyes or if the symptoms get worse, it is always a good idea to see an eye care professional.
Dr. Victor Amoako, OD, MGOA.
Medifem Multi-specialist Hospital and Fertility Center.