The 5 Best Ways to Protect Your Eyes This Summer

summer© Rido / Canva

Summertime is right around the corner, and while you may be hoping to soak up some sun, it’s important to keep in mind the effects of the extra UV radiation from the sun on your eye health. As temperatures rise and more time is spent outdoors, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure healthy vision this summer season. Whether you prefer long hikes through lush forests or dipping your toes in crystal blue water, these five simple steps will help preserve your sight no matter what activities fill your days during sunny weather.

Protect Your Eyes With These 5 Simple Steps

With summer just weeks away, most people are ready to head outdoors and enjoy the sunny weather. While we’re all set to spend time soaking up the sun, we often forget to take precautions to protect our eyes. Our eyes are sensitive to harmful UV rays, and exposure to them can lead to several issues like photokeratitis, dry eyes, and even skin cancer around the eyes. To prevent this, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has come up with five simple measures to keep our eyes safe and healthy this summer.

1. Prevent photokeratitis by wearing sunglasses that are marked “100% UV protection.” Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; they are crucial for maintaining good eye health, especially during summer. Wearing the appropriate pair of glasses that block UV radiation can save your eyes from photokeratitis, a painful condition similar to sunburn. Photokeratitis creates a feeling of discomfort in the eyes and can cause temporary blindness in severe cases.

Thus, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing sunglasses that have at least 99% UV protection marked on them. Polarized lenses can also reduce glare and increase depth perception while allowing you to enjoy the sun safely.

2. Keep your eyes feeling and looking good by wearing swim goggles in the pool. Swimming pools can be full of harmful irritants like chlorine, which can cause redness, itching, and irritation in your eyes. To protect your eyes, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing swim goggles that fit appropriately and suction well around your eyes.

Swim goggles create a barrier to prevent pool water from entering your eyes, which also helps you avoid picking up infections like pink eye. So, don’t shy away from wearing goggles for a dip in the pool, and ensure they’re tight-fitting to protect your eyes.

3. Keep a dry eye at bay by wearing wrap-around glasses to keep the wind from your eye’s surface and use artificial tears to keep eyes moist and refreshed. The summer winds can cause dry eyes, itching, and irritation. Dry eyes are a prevalent condition caused due to lack of proper lubrication or tears in your eyes. To avoid this, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing wrap-around glasses that cover the entire eye area, shielding your eyes from dust, sand, and wind.

Moreover, incorporating artificial tears into your daily routine can help keep the eyes moist and refreshed. Eye drops can help prevent dry eyes, which in turn can lower your risk of developing other eye problems.

4. Always wear the proper protective eyewear. Many outdoor activities like cycling or playing sports can pose a risk to your eyes. Accidents like a ball hitting your eyes can cause permanent damage or even vision loss. Such incidents can be prevented by wearing proper protective eyewear like safety glasses or goggles, depending on the particular activity.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends always wearing adequate protective gear while performing any activity that poses a risk of potential eye injury.

5. Quit smoking. Quitting smoking reduces your risk of getting eye disease and other major health problems. Smoking is not only detrimental to your overall health but also detrimental to your eyes. Smoking can lead to several eye disorders like cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage, which often leads to blindness. These disorders can be avoided by quitting smoking.

This summer, let’s pledge to take care of our eyes by following the simple steps mentioned above. It’s vital to prioritize our vision and protect it from harmful UV rays, chlorinated pool water, dry winds, and accidents that pose a risk to our eyes. American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends incorporating these simple measures into our daily routine to prevent eye problems and maintain good eye health for life. So, wear your sunglasses, swim goggles, wrap-around glasses, proper protective eyewear, and quit smoking to keep your eyes safe and healthy!

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