Haze is an atmospheric condition where particles, smoke, dust and moisture suspend in the air obscuring visibility.
Sources of haze include emissions from power plants, industrial activities, traffic as well as farming practices. Haze particles may irritate the eyes, nose and throat in healthy individuals.
Depending on how sensitive you are, the severity of the haze and the time of exposure, you may experience the following short-term adverse effects:
- Irritated eyes, watering eyes, and/or conjunctivitis (a type of eye inflammation)
- Running nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, and/or post-nasal drip
- Throat irritation, dry throat, sore throat and/or coughing
- Headache, dizziness and/or fatigue
- Decreased lung function, depressed respiratory immune defenses, chest pain, and/or bronchitis (lung inflammation)
- Diarrhea and/or stomach upset, if drinking water sources are contaminated by dense haze and the water is consumed without further treatment
- Anxiety, stress and/or depression-like symptoms such as insomnia, feelings of helplessness, loss of interest in daily activities and irritability
- These symptoms are usually mild and will subside when you stay indoor and limit your exposure to haze
Exposure to the haze can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis, an infection commonly called red eye.
The person will experience symptoms that include a burning sensation, redness and tearing of the eyes. While these do not harm vision, they cause discomfort.
Smoke exposure can also exacerbate symptoms for patients with existing eye diseases, especially those with dry eyes. Those who are exposed to a dusty environment should use protective eyewear such as goggles.
To relieve eye irritation, use preservative-free artificial tears, which can be bought over the counter.
A person who experiences poorer vision, increasing eye discomfort with significant eye discharge or worsening symptoms should seek eye examinations by a qualified optometrist. At Malaya Optical, we have full registered qualified optometrist, even an in-house clinician to check your eyes.
Visit us at Malaya Optical, petaling jaya!