It’s summertime, which means everyone will be spending a lot of time outside enjoying the sun. Though many of us know about using sunblock to fight off the sun’s harmful rays, it is also important to protect your eyes! Here are a few tips on protecting your vision this summer.
Sunglasses with UV Protection
Just like your skin needs protection from the sun’s strong ultraviolet rays, so do your eyes! During the summer when you’re outside, these rays can be reflected from the water or sand. The best way to protect your eyes is to use sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. The bigger, the better as the larger frames that wrap around your face will help prevent light from penetrating around the lenses.
Too much exposure to sunlight can increase your risk of photokeratitis, which is like a sunburn on your cornea. Symptoms can include trouble seeing, temporary blindness, dryness, discomfort, and tearing up. Continual exposure may also lead to the development of cataracts.
If you wear prescription lenses or contacts, speak to your optometrist about transition eyewear or prescription sunglasses so that you can still be protected while outside.
Remember to Use Protective Eyewear
If you’ve ever had dirt, dust, or sand in your eye, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. When you are outside doing physical tasks such as power washing, using power tools, or mowing the lawn, remember to always wear protective eyewear such as glasses, face shields, and goggles to protect your eyes from potential damage. You may think your risk of injury is low, but it only takes a moment for an unexpected accident to occur.
Most minor corneal injuries heal within a few days, but we always recommend prevention as our first line of defense in protecting your eyesight. If you suffer an eye injury, contact our office for treatment.
Don’t Forget Your Goggles
We know many of you will frequent pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches during the summer. Don’t forget to pack goggles along with your sunscreen and other water sport essentials! Even in pools, goggles can help keep your eyes healthy. The pool’s chlorinated water can be dangerous to your eyes in the long run. Though chlorine is designed to fight off bacterial growth, pool water can still be irritating, leading to dry or red eyes.
At the beach or other natural bodies of water, goggles will also lower your risk of waterborne contaminants and loose sand that might irritate your eyes.
Use A Hat and Seek Shade
If you know you are going to be spending time outside, be sure to bring a hat! Wide-brimmed sun hats or caps with a 3-inch brim are not only stylish but can protect your vision! Sunglasses have gaps along the sides where exposure can occur, but hats with brims can minimize your risk and provide additional coverage from harmful UV rays.
If possible, stay in areas that have shade or create your own using an umbrella, canopy tent, or sun shelters to cool down and give your eyes a break from the harsh light.
Wash Your Hands Often
In the summer heat, it’s common to work up a sweat! Washing your hands regularly is another great way to protect your vision as it reduces your risk of spreading disease. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is often developed after touching an object that someone else has touched after rubbing their eyes.
Taking this proactive approach to your eye care this summer can go a long way in ensuring the health of your vision. Don’t forget to schedule your annual eye exam if you haven’t already. For more information on how to protect your vision this summer or to schedule an appointment, contact St. Lucy’s Vision Center today.