'Do not wear contact lenses,' ophthalmologist advises amid ashfall

'Do not wear contact lenses,' ophthalmologist advises amid ashfall

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Cornea Society (PCS) issued tips on how to keep one’s eyes protected during emission of volcanic ash.

The health agency and the eye experts gave these tips after Taal Volcano spewed some ashes on Sunday. The ashfall reached several areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila.

The DOH and the PCS advised the public living in high-risk areas to stop wearing contact lenses, citing that ashfall may stick to the lenses.

“If you feel ash enter your eye, use an eye lubricant to flush it out or wash under clean running water for five to 10 minutes. Rubbing will cause the particle to scratch your eyes,” the PCS said.

PCS also urged the public to avoid looking up as ashes may fall into one's eyes.

The ophthalmologist at PCS also gave the following advice amid ashfall in some parts of the country:

  • Stay indoors

  • Wear goggles or eyeglasses

  • Do not rub your eyes

PCS said individuals who experience the following signs and symptoms are advised to see their doctors:

  • Eye redness

  • Itchiness

  • Foreign body sensation

  • Burning sensation

  • Dry eyes

  • Ash particles in the eyes

“See a doctor if your eye becomes red and painful, or if your vision becomes poorer. Corneal abrasions and infections can be sight-threatening,” PCS said.

On Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology hoisted an alert level 4 over Taal Volcano.

DOH also warned the public about possible health problems that may be brought by volcanic ash exposure.

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