Our Eyes are in Danger From Sunlight
Summer is finally here! As the weather continues to warm up and the days grow longer, summer is bound to be full of countless plans and time spent out in the sun. Many people often spend a great deal of time improving their health and getting in the best shape for the season, but very few take the needed steps to preserve their eye health. The sun emits dangerous UV rays that have been proven to be detrimental to our vision and eye health. As you prepare to enjoy the coming summer months, it is important to take the necessary eye care tips.
Probably the most obvious choice of protection against the sun and its UV rays is sunglasses. While many people know that sunglasses can protect your eyes, they don’t understand what component is needed to effectively do this.
Just because sunglasses are a darker tint does not mean they will help. When purchasing sunglasses, it is important to find a pair that guarantees 100% UV protection. There are plenty of cheap brands of glasses that offer you complete protection.
When the sun shines off of the water or even sand, it can reflect back into your eyes. This can eventually lead to a very painful condition known as photokeratitis. This is essentially a sunburn on your eye. The UV rays are reflected off of these surfaces and burn the surface of your eye. It will leave your eyes in pain, red, and blurred and might leave you with temporary vision loss. Wearing sunglasses that wrap around your entire eye will protect you from these reflections.
Like sunglasses, it seems as though many people have forgotten the true purpose of hats. They were designed to keep the sun out of your eyes. While they don’t filter out the UV rays from sunlight, they can completely block those rays from ever reaching your eyes. Sunglasses are great shields from sunlight, but they don’t offer complete protection. Most sunglasses have gaps along the tops, sides, and bottoms that allow sunlight to reach your eyes. While wearing sunglasses, wear a wide-brimmed hat to minimize the risk.
Not only will this keep your eyes safe, but it also keeps your eyelids from developing skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer that usually affects the eyelids. While it mostly affects the bottom eyelid, it can still be just as dangerous to any skin around the eye. Wearing a hat can drastically minimize the potential for skin cancer.
Prevent Swimmers Eye
The hot weather is a perfect time to utilize your pools. While they can be great at cooling you down, they can be rough on your eyes. The chemicals used in the pools are there to keep the water clean and to destroy any bacteria that could be dangerous to you. However, they can hurt your eyes.
The chemicals, like chlorine, can wear away at the natural tear film that keeps your eyes moist and healthy. Your eyes can be left red, irritated, and gritty-feeling while also blurring your vision. A study published in 2008 found that overexposure to chlorine can compromise the integrity of the corneal epithelium. The epithelium works in conjunction with the tear film to provide the cornea with a layer of protection from irritants and bacteria.
To avoid any damage to your eyes from swimming in your pool, the best course of action would be to wear goggles. While some believe they look funny or are uncomfortable, the lasting damage these chemicals can have on your eyes would be much worse.
Wear Protective Eyewear
During the summer, the days are longer which provides you with extra time spent outdoors working or having fun. Regardless of your outdoor activity, it is important to always be aware of the potential dangers in each activity.
Many people spend a great deal of their time doing yard work. While this may seem like a simple and safe task, the tools used can lead to dangers. Lawnmowers and weed eaters can send debris right back into your eyes. No matter the type of work you are doing, always wear the proper eyewear.
Even when you are playing sports outside like baseball, you should also provide yourself with added protection. The number of flying objects in the field of play can cause permanent damage to your eyes.
Wash Your Hands and Avoid Touching Your Eyes
The summer can be a fun time to spend outside. While this is never a bad idea, you should always wash your hands after every activity spent outdoors. This is the best way to stop the spread of communicable diseases. If you aren’t in a position to wash your hands, avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
Conjunctivitis is a common condition that can occur from touching your eyes after touching something or someone else. The Center for Disease Control advises that you wash your hands before treating your eyes or else you may worsen or spread the condition.
The summer is full of plenty of opportunities to have a fun and exciting time outside. However, with so many different activities available to you, it is important to keep your safety and health in mind. Eye safety is just as important. Your eyes are extremely important to our everyday lives, and it would be a shame if they were harmed in this summer. The eye care professionals at First Eye Care North Arlington possess the knowledge all of our patients need to know about protecting their eyes this summer.