With the summer heat comes fun outdoor activities. Whether you are out on the pitch throwing a few balls, diving into the deep end, or going for a drive along the lake it is always important to protect your eyes from any potentially harmful conditions.
Here are 3 tips for keeping your eyes safe while out and about in the summer sunshine!
1. ALWAYS WEAR SUNGLASSES!
Reflected light from sand, water, and even cement will increase your sun exposure. This is why it is very important to not only wear sun block on a daily basis but to also wear 100% UV blocking sunglasses. Not all sunglasses are created equal, therefore that $5 pair you quickly picked up might not be doing your eyes any justice. Do yourself and your eyes a favour and invest in a pair that not only look great but also do wonders for your eye health.
Teaching this habit to children and young teens early on will be beneficial to their future, as UV damage builds up over your lifetime and has been linked to eye diseases such as macular-degeneration and cataracts in adults. It is also important to keep in mind that prolonged exposure to bright sunlight can cause a condition called photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is when your eyes become too exposed to the sun and essentially become sun burnt. Sun burnt eyes will show the whites of the eye becoming bloodshot and your eyes will become more sensitive to light, and have a gritty feeling as if sand were in them. This condition is painful but affects vision only temporarily and with proper lubrication from medicated drops any symptoms should clear up in a few days.
2. BE WEARY OF WEARING CONTACT LENSES.
In essence swimming with contacts should be avoided whenever possible to help protect against bacterial contamination of your eyes. It is recommended not to expose contact lenses to any type of water including tap water, a lake, ocean, or the water from swimming pools. If you do happen to open up your eyes under water while wearing contacts be sure to remove the lenses as soon as you are done to avoid potential irritation and infections.
Chemicals and irritants found in swimming pool water also expose a risk to your lenses. Once they have come in contact with the chlorine and other chemicals your lenses have the potential to shrink leading them to become uncomfortable on your eyes.
3. WEAR GOGGLES
Swimming goggles are a great idea even for those who don’t have vision problems. Goggles will protect your eyes from the organisms and chemical irritants you can find in the water. Wearing goggles will also eliminate the itchy irritated red eyes one would receive from opening their eyes in the chlorinated water.
There are options to purchase prescription goggles if you are someone who needs corrective lenses. If this is something you might be interested in, talk to your optometrist to find out the best option for your eyesight.