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Poor air quality can cause buildup of debris on contact lenses

Doctors recommend cleaning contact lenses throughout the day to improve symptoms of itchy, red eyes.

SPOKANE, WASH — If you wear contacts, you may have noticed your eyes have been irritated as the air quality has worsened over the past few weeks.

On Tuesday morning, the air quality was not as severe as it has been these last few days settling in the “unhealthy for some groups” range.

RELATED: Spokane’s air quality improves to unhealthy for some groups

According to Dr. Keegan Bench with the MultiCare Rockwood Clinic, "An increase of debris in the air will negatively affect a person's comfort and vision in contact lenses."

When the air quality is especially bad, he recommends avoiding air exposure and cleaning contact lenses more often throughout the day.

"The eyes are very sensitive to dust and debris in the air," and that they “Will likely become irritated, itch, tear, or become red,” Bench said.

Bench mentioned an increased use of artificial tears can help reduce symptoms, but reducing exposure to poor quality air is the best solution.

Dr. Bench said although he has not been seeing more patients because of the poor air quality, the ones he has seen have said they have experienced symptoms due to the change in conditions.

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