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How To Protect Your Eyes from Volcanic Ash

Taal Volcano’s ash explosion yesterday sent ash fall throughout Luzon, from Batangas all the way up to parts of Rizal. Face masks have been recommended to avoid breathing in the ashfall, which is dangerous to our health. Our eyes are also in danger as ashfall particles in our eyes could lead to sight-threatening situations.

According to the Philippine Cornea Society, civilians should stay indoors to avoid ashfall all together. If you do go outside, you should wear goggles (like the ones you wear when swimming or diving) or eyeglasses .

Under no circumstances should you use contact lenses.

When outside, do not look up . The ash is not snow. It’s dangerous to your eyes. But if you do happen to get ash in your eye, use an eye lubricant to flush out the ash . This could be eye drops or just clean running water, which should wash out the ash in five to ten minutes.

Absolutely do not rub your eyes if you have ash particles on them. Rubbing will dig the ash into your eye and cause the particle to scratch the surface of your eye.

If your eye or eyes become red, painful, and your vision changes, you must see an eye doctor.

Ash in your eyes could lead to corneal abrasions and infections, which are sight-threatening.