Eye Symptoms and Skin Irritation

Eye irritation is a common health effect as pieces of grit can cause painful scratches in the front of the eye (corneal abrasions) and conjunctivitis. Contact lens wearers need to be especially aware of this problem and should not wear their lenses to prevent corneal abrasion from occurring. Eye glasses should be worn instead.

Common symptoms include:
  • Corneal abrasions or scratches
  • Acute conjunctivitis or the inflammation of the conjunctival sac that surrounds the eyeball due to the presence of ash, which leads to redness, burning of the eyes, and photosensitivity
  • Eyes feeling as though there are foreign particles in them
  • Eyes becoming painful, itchy or bloodshot
  • Sticky discharge or tearing

While not common, volcanic ash can cause skin irritation for some people, especially if the ash is acidic. Symptoms include:

  • Irritation and reddening of the skin.
  • Secondary infections due to scratching.