How to take care of your eye health in the summer
Overexposure to the sun can cause eye conditions like photokeratitis, conjunctivitis, cataracts or even eyelid cancer. There are several steps you can take to maximise eye protection this summer and help to prevent causing damage to the eyes while you are out enjoying the weather.
1. Wear Sunglasses
Making an informed decision when choosing eyewear could make a difference to your eyes this summer. Overexposure to the sun and its UV rays can negatively impact the eyes, leading to an increased risk of cataracts or macular degeneration. Opting for sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection would be the best option. There are several brands that offer this type of protection for an affordable price. Sunglasses not only protect the eyes from harmful UV rays, but they also restrict pollen in the air from entering your eyes.
2. Swimming & Protective Eyewear
Chlorine in swimming pools can irritate your eyes and potentially be harmful. Simply wearing swimming goggles when underwater (swimming pools, in the sea, or other natural bodies of water) is a great way to provide eye protection. Increased exposure to chlorine may have negative effects on the eye and may even damage the cornea. It is also important to always consider wearing protective eyewear when partaking in outdoor activities and contact sports.
3. Stay Hydrated
During the summer months, you are more likely to become dehydrated. Dehydration can make it harder for the body to produce enough tears to moisturise the eyes. This can lead to conditions like dry eye disease. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can prevent this and help the eyes to function normally.
4. Healthy Eating
It is important to have a healthy and varied diet and trying to include foods that are rich in nutrient that helps the eyes is recommended too. Foods like leafy green vegetables are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for general eye health but may even help eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
5. Allergies & Hygiene
Allergies can cause the eyes to be excessively dry during the summer months and over-the-counter eye drops may be purchased to soothe or relieve symptoms of dry eye and help allergy symptoms. Speak to your optometrist to recommend the best ones for you. Always seek advice from a healthcare professional first. Making sure to wash your hands regularly is an important measure to prevent allergies. It is important to avoid touching or rubbing itchy, irritated eyes.
6. Keep Your Contact Lenses Clean
Remember to clean and replace your contact lenses frequently or consider switching to daily disposable lenses. This helps prevent the accumulation of pollen and other allergy-causing debris.
7. Schedule an Appointment With Your Ophthalmologist
Make sure you book an eye examination to check your eyes are in good order this summer! An ophthalmologist will be able to conduct an eye exam which may detect any underlying conditions and advise you on the best care for your eyes. It is also very important for children to have regular eye examinations too.