The month of May is the start of spring with blooming flowers and sunny days, and many of us will start heading out for some fun in the sun in the great outdoors. Springtime is also the start of allergy season and many other potential vision hazards that may keep you from enjoying the weather. Did you know that May is also Healthy Vision Month? In observance of National Eye Health Month, we are encouraging people to make their vision health a priority and informing the public on the steps they can take to protect their eyes and vision this spring.
Sometimes our eyes are taken for granted, but taking care of your eyes and vision should be just as important as eating a well-balanced diet and staying active regularly. Your vision helps to keep you safe each day so it is important to make sure that your eyes are as healthy as they can be by scheduling annual eye exams.
Here are our five springtime vision tips to keep your eyes protected and healthy this season!
During the spring and summer, sunglasses are crucial to protecting your vision. Sunglasses guard your eyes against harmful UV rays which can play a part in the development of eye diseases and other vision conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Choose sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays. Do not rely purely on the tint of the lenses and check on their rated ability.
Absorptive sunglasses help to filter out the sun’s glare and block harmful light rays, but blue light is an increasing new concern for vision health. Sunglasses that protect against blue light rays will be listed the same as UV-A or UV-B ratings but tend to have some amount of yellow or amber tint to the lenses.
The Great Outdoors
With flowers in full bloom, the increased pollen count can cause many springtime allergies to flare up. Your eyes may become red, itchy, watery, and irritated easily during the season. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, be sure to take your medicine and invest in antihistamines or decongestants for more severe pollen count days.
You can also schedule your day and activities around high pollen times which are typically the early morning and sunset. Look to your local news reports for pollen forecasts to see what allergens will be out and how high their allergen count may be.
If you do spend a lot of time outdoors this spring, remember to wash your hands regularly to prevent hand-eye transmission of allergens from irritating your eyes if you rub your face. It may also be wise to wash your face when you return home to keep yourself mostly free from pollen and other irritants.
Keep your eyes moist with artificial tear drops to help lubricate the eyes and improve visual comfort during the warmer weather.
Protecting Your Home
As many of us jump into spring cleaning, remember to change out your air filters as well with each new season. Spring flowers bring pollen and other allergens into your home. Using a HEPA air filter will help improve air quality within your house and reduce the amount of pollen, allergens, and other potential spring irritants in your home.
Vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, and wiping down surfaces can also help to clear away airborne particles that may have wandered into your home.
Schedule an Exam
Everyone, regardless of age, should have annual comprehensive eye exams. If you haven’t had an eye exam in some time, be sure to schedule one soon. Comprehensive eye exams should consist of:
These tests help to determine how clearly you can see near and far and also how well you perceive your surroundings from your peripheral vision. Afterward, your optometrist will discuss your results and determine the best treatment plan for your vision and condition.
For more information on how to protect your eyes and vision this spring, please contact St. Lucy’s Vision Center today!