08 April 2021
The growth of house plants
A year of lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions has led us all to spend more time at home indoors. The sale of home décor items, particularly houseplants, has shot up dramatically over the last 12 months as people attempted to brighten the same four walls they found themselves trapped in 24/7.
There’s been lots of talk about how having houseplants around your home can lift your mood and bring a touch of the outdoors in, but did you know that they can also boost your eye health and help relieve symptoms of conditions such as dry eye disease?
Polluted homes damaging our eyes
It is thought that the air inside our homes is actually 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors. This can be due to a lack of ventilation, with potentially toxic particles kept inside without the means to air the room properly. A number of factors like dust, mould, pet hair and fumes from cleaning products or cosmetics, can all contribute to a polluted environment which affects our eyes. Your eyes are actually one of the first organs to be impacted by dusty environments. With up to 90% of our time spent indoors, it’s important that the air inside our homes and workplaces doesn’t have negative impacts on our eyes.
Unfortunately, dry eye disease can be caused – and even worsened – by irritants in the air, including irritants released by paint, carpet and furniture. These are all things we fill our indoor spaces with so, if your eyes are particularly sensitive to these types of airborne particles, it’s important to make sure the materials around you don’t release them. If you do find yourself struggling, hydrating eye drops can help the symptoms, but they won’t address the underlying cause of dry eye disease. You can read more on our blog about the condition and what can be done to treat it.
The symptoms of chronic dry eye disease are:
- Itchy eyes
- Foreign body/gritty sensation
- Watery eyes
- Stringy mucus around the eye
- Difficulty inserting contact lenses
How can houseplants help your eyes?
Various houseplants have different qualities when it comes to purifying the air in our homes. For them to have a higher impact, try grouping multiple pots together in one room which will allow them to draw in the most irritants. It is thought that having some greenery in your home can actually remove up to 90% of harmful airborne chemicals in 24 hours!
If you’re thinking about investing in some new house plants, you might want to consider:
Peace lilies: These can boost your indoor air quality by up to 60% as they absorb acetone. This is a substance emitted by lots of cleaning products which we use around our homes, so they can be found in abundance in the air.
English ivy: Horrifyingly, many indoor environments have airborne faecal matter, particularly bathrooms. This bacteria can cause eye irritation and lead to conditions such as conjunctivitis. English ivy can absorb these particles and reduce the amount of irritants in the air, protecting your eye health. Consider placing your ivy in the bathroom for maximum effect.
Lady palm: Ammonia is an ingredient commonly used in household cleaners, often causing stinging and irritation to the eyes. Lady palm is a large house plant (sometimes growing as high as 6 feet!), which absorbs ammonia and purifies the air. In areas such as the kitchen which are regularly exposed to cleaning products, a lady palm could be a good option to reduce any eye irritation that comes with it.
Spider plant: These plants are great for people with allergies to dust, pet hair and mould, all of which can cause eye irritation. Spider plants absorb these substances and grow well in areas with low and medium light, which means they are a good option for mouldy corners in any darker, damper areas of the home.
Boosting your eye health
Multiple factors come into play when you’re trying to maintain your eye health, whether that’s your diet, alcohol intake, or partaking in regular exercise. Dry eye disease is a particularly common side effect of poor eye health, so taking steps to boost the air quality in your home can go a long way. Plants act as a natural air filter, as well as being a nice aesthetically-pleasing addition for your interiors!
If you want to read more about boosting your overall eye health, you can find a wealth of resources on our blog. Please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 800 093 1110 if you have any questions regarding vision correction treatments or other eye conditions.