As the summer months arrive, it is more important than ever to make sure you are protecting and taking care of your eyes. Because people tend to spend more time outside and in the sun, the summer season brings a variety of eye problems with it. It is important to keep your eyes healthy as you make the most of the season. Here are some essential tips we have gathered to help you take care of your eyes this summer.
Avoid Sun Damage
In the same way the sun damages your skin, your eyes are at risk of sun damage that can cause serious problems such as skin cancer or cataracts. It is important to take measures to protect your eyes from the dangers that UV rays pose. There are many ways you can do this. Some include:
- Wearing sunglasses that block the highest amount of UVA and UVB light.
- Wearing a wide brimmed hat. Extra shade is always beneficial and will protect your face and head as well.
- Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of over 15. Remember to choose a product that is safe and gentle enough for your face.
- Taking extra precautions when near water or sand. According to skincancer.org, 80% of sun rays reflect off of these surfaces, meaning your eyes get a second wave of the harmful rays.
Be Careful in the Pool
While swimming is a great way to escape the summer heat, it can be damaging to your eyes. Pool chemicals wash away the healthy tear film and can leave your cornea unprotected. This can ultimately cause irritation or even dry eye syndrome if it occurs frequently. There are ways to prevent this from happening.
To help protect your eyes, try applying eye drops before and after swimming. Gel tears or artificial tears will help protect you from the damages of chlorine. If you wear contacts, it is important to take out your contacts before you get submerged in the water. Contacts can put your eyes at a higher risk of attracting dangerous bacterias. Lastly, one of the most important steps to avoid irritation from the pool is to wash your eyes after swimming to ensure that you remove chlorine and chemicals from your eyelashes and eyelids.
Prevent Dry Eyes
Summer is often considered to be a break from worrying about dry eyes. Although the warmer months are a little easier on the eyes, there are still a number of ways your eyes can dry out during the summer.
Most people are quick to blast their air conditioning as soon as they get home or get in the car, but this quick, direct rush of colder air is one of the main causes of dry eyes. When your eyes are suddenly and directly introduced to the cool air after being exposed to hot, humid air it makes your tear ducts dry out significantly faster. This is especially true if the air source is pointed directly towards your face. Even the smoke from your backyard grill can irritate your eyes and cause them to dry out, so it is important to be proactive in protecting your eyes.
There are ways to manage and prevent this common issue. Artificial tears are very helpful in keeping the moisture in your eyes. It is also important to stay hydrated. Drinking the appropriate amount of water to keep your body hydrated is essential in keeping your tear ducts healthy to help prevent dry eyes.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Summer usually means participating in a variety of outdoor activities. Whether it’s work or play, most people are spending more time outside. This includes mowing the lawn, relaxing on the beach, working with power tools, and many other outdoor activities. These activities place you at a higher risk of exposure to foreign or hazardous materials, so protective eyewear can be a crucial asset to protecting your eyes this summer.
The majority of eye injuries can be prevented. Be sure to wear the appropriate safety glasses, goggles, or shield to protect your vision. Contact your eye doctor for recommendations on what type of protective eyewear is best for you.
Spending more time outdoors in the sun is one of the best parts about summer, but this doesn’t diminish the danger it can pose to your eyes. Protect your eyes while you’re out this summer and prioritize your eye care with these tips.