The official first day of summer is less than two weeks away! During the summertime, many people are aware of the importance of protecting your skin. But what about the importance of protecting your eyes? Just as the sun’s UV rays are harmful to our skin, they can also negatively affect our eye health. UV rays contribute to your risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, plus they even can cause corneal sunburn — ouch! What’s more, there are various activities that take place in the summer that could damage your eyes. Because of these conditions and factors, it is essential to protect your eyes and your vision during the summertime. In this blog, we are going to review some helpful tips to help you keep your eyes safe, healthy, and protected during the summer months!
We cannot stress this enough, especially during the summertime. Wherever you go outside your should put sunglasses on in order to keep your eyes protected. The sun radiates various types of rays, the most damaging being ultraviolet. When choosing a pair of sunglasses, skip the cheap plastic pair at the gas station and invest in a pair of sunglass lenses that have 100 percent protection against UV rays. You don’t need designer sunglasses, just make sure that the sunglasses you buy will offer the protection from the sun that you need. And remember, it’s just as important to wear sunglasses on a cloudy day as the sun’s rays can easily pass through clouds.
Add A Hat
Even if you have sunglasses on every time you are outside, some styles of glasses may not offer complete protection from ultraviolet radiation to your eyes and eyelids. Many styles of sunglasses have gaps along the side where ultraviolet radiation exposure typically occurs. Wearing a hat in addition to your sunglasses minimizes the risk of this exposure. In order for the best protection against sun exposure, wear a hat with a brim at least three inches wide.
Wear Goggles in the Water
The summer is the perfect time for swimming, but a dip in the water can feel awful on your eyes. Chlorine, bacteria, and microorganisms in the water can cause irritation in your eyes. To keep your eyes protected, whether you are swimming in a pool, lake, ocean, or other natural bodies of water, it is best to wear goggles. Goggles help block out the bacteria and chemicals from entering and irritating your eyes while swimming underwater. For extra protection, choose goggles that have UV protection to keep your eyes safe from the bright sunlight that reflects off the water and can cause damage to our vision.
With high temperatures, outdoor activities, and dry conditions, dehydration is very common during the summertime. When you are seriously dehydrated, it makes it harder for your body to produce tears, which can lead to dry eye symptoms and other vision issues. Drinking plenty of water consistently will reverse the negative effects on your vision caused by dehydration, plus it will provide a sufficient amount of fluid for normal and healthy eye function.
Wear Protection During Outdoor Sports and Activities
Once the summer temperatures arrive, many people head outdoors to enjoy sports and other activities. Unfortunately, too many people do not think to properly protect their eyes. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you should always remember to wear the recommended eye protection. Remember, sports are not the only thing that poses a threat to your eyes. Other activities, such as gardening, hiking, or doing yard work can allow dust and debris to damage your eyes if you are not wearing the proper eye protection.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
There are a lot of ways that your eyes can become irritated this summer. Whether from allergies, chemicals in a pool, or sand that has gotten into your eyes, it is common for them to become itchy or irritated. However, when this occurs it is important to avoid rubbing them as much as possible as this can make the irritation and discomfort worse. Instead, when your eye or eyes become irritated, be sure to flush out any potential debris or particles with clean water. If the irritation still exists, consider visiting your local eye doctor.
The best way for you to stay on top of your eye health this summer is by scheduling an eye exam with a nearby optometrist. In addition, any time you experience discomfort or irritation with your eye you should visit your eye doctor if the problem does not get better within 48 hours. Eye care professionals will be able to provide you with the information and resources you need to keep your eyes safe this summer.