Summer is near, and that means vacations, higher temperatures, and more activities that pose risks for your eyes. Here are some tips to help you make sure your eyes remain healthy during this season.
1. Wear Sunglasses
This is crucial when it’s summer and you’re going outdoors during the day. And of course, you need sunglasses with proper UV ray protection.
Wear these sunglasses even if gets cloudy. When you’ve gotten used to a bright, sunny day, you’ll probably squint less. That means more light gets into your eyes, leading to more UV-ray exposure for your eyes.
You might think that you don’t need sunglasses when you’re wearing contact lenses with UV-ray protection, but you’d be wrong. But these lenses don’t really cover the rest of your eyes, and they sure don’t help with your eyelids.
In contrast, the sunglasses cover the whole area, including your eyelids.
2. Wear a Hat
A baseball cap will do just fine, despite the howl of protests from self-appointed fashion gurus. The wide brim in front keeps the sunlight from hitting your eyes, and give you some shade for your face. The brim protects against UV exposure for your eyes and eyelids.
3. Wear Sunscreen
Yes, this is mainly for your skin, but don’t forget that your skin includes the skin around your eyes, including your eyelids. Use proper sunscreen, which means at least an SPF of 30. Obviously, when you apply the sunscreen, you don’t forget about putting some on around the eyes and on your eyelids.
4. Seek the Shade
Even with the sunglasses, baseball cap, and sunscreen, it’s always a good idea to stay in the shade if you can help it. If you’re at a park, go sit under a tree. If you’re watching baseball, get seats in the shaded areas of the stadium.
At the beach, use a wide umbrella when you’re reading your summer paperback. In fact, it’s not a bad notion to use an umbrella when you’re walking around town during the late mornings and early afternoons.
It doesn’t matter if the day is cloudy and overcast. The rays of the sun can damage your eyes and skin during those times, unfortunately.
5. Wear Goggles when Swimming
There’s always something in the water that poses a threat to the health of your eyes. If you’re going into a swimming pool, the problem is the chlorine. That chemical might be good against the bacteria in the pool water, but it’s bad for your eyes. The chemical washes away the protective tear film that protects your eye, leading to eye irritation.
If you’re going into the ocean, the salt can also irritate your eyes. Swim in a lake or pond, and the water might have contaminants and pathogens that can cause damage and infections. So, just wear the goggles.
Once you’re done swimming, use fresh water to rinse your eyes. It’s always good to stay safe.
6. Wear Safety Goggles for Other Summer Activities
Always cover your eyes when you’re engaged in some activity that increases the chances of stuff flying in your eyes. During the summer, perhaps you’ll spend more time on your woodworking DIY projects. Maybe you’re going biking more often, or perhaps you’re going on a hike. For all these activities, goggles are just plain warranted.
7. Don’t Wear Contacts When Swimming
This is sage advice whether or not you’re wearing goggles. If you need prescription lenses, then just ask your doctor about swimming when you’re getting your Sam’s Club eye exam or Sam’s Club Optical, and see if you can get some prescription goggles for swimming.
The problem with contacts while swimming is that bacteria can get trapped inside the lenses. That has the bacteria sitting right on your eyes, leading to a corneal infection. It’s a real problem when you’re swimming in a pool, the ocean, or a lake.
This is a mantra for wellness that’s especially crucial during the summer. After all, you’re most likely to become dehydrated during this time than any other time of the year. One of the issues with dehydration (on top of everything else) is that it reduces the natural ability of your body to produce tears. And that can lead to dry eyes.
By hydrating properly, you’re better able to maintain normal tear production. And no, watching sad movies doesn’t really compensate. So, just drink water a lot.
9. Use Eye Drops
Even if you hydrate properly, dry eyes can still be a real problem during the summer. To help with that, lubricate your eyes with eye drops. Your best bet is to use an eye drop that doesn’t have any preservatives, as those chemicals may just end up irritating your eyes.
Have fun with your summer, and see to it that you protect your eyes in the meantime!