A Guide to Caring Your Eyes and Vision During the Summer
Summer is here! That means you’ll likely be heading outside more often to enjoy the warm weather and lasting daylight. While you may be good about slathering on the sunblock to protect your skin, did you know these summer months can be tough on your eyes as well?
Besides “don’t look directly at the sun,” there aren’t many healthy eye habits we hear about, but protecting your eyes should be high on your summertime priority list. It’s also a great time to teach your children about proper eye care and why it leads to better vision long into their lives.
In this guide, we will teach you the five best ways to protect you and your children’s eyes from anything the harsh summer season can throw at them.
1. Protect Your Eyes From Damaging UV Light
Did you know your eyes can get sunburned? This unsettling condition is called photokeratitis and is caused when surfaces like water, sand, or pavement reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays into your eyes, burning the cornea.
Shielding your eyes with sunglasses that offer complete UV protection and a hat that sufficiently blocks the sun from your eyes is incredibly important when spending extended time outside this summer. Don’t forget to protect your children as well. Those under the age of 20 are the most susceptible to the damaging effects of UV light on their eyes!
At NeoVision, we offer a wide variety of popular sunglass brands and styles specially fit for your comfort and designed to protect your eyes on the brightest days. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find your perfect pair of sunglasses before your next beach vacation.
2. Keep Chlorine Out of Your Eyes
A summer day splashing in the pool is a great way to cool off, but can also wreak havoc on your eyes. The abundant chlorine in pools compromises the integrity of your eye’s outer protective layer (corneal epithelium), which keeps your eyes hydrated and free from irritants. Without this protection, your eyes are more susceptible to scratches, drying out, and blurry vision.
Wearing goggles when swimming protects your eyes from irritation and promotes crystal-clear vision while you’re in and out of the pool! Once you’re done swimming, splash your closed eyes with clean water to flush the area of any chemicals and pool bacteria.
3. Wear Safety Glasses While Doing House Work
Many routine household chores such as weed trimming, lawn mowing, and general handiwork can pose a risk to your eyes. Small pieces of debris become projectiles that could cause corneal scarring, irritation, and infection in your eye. Half of all eye injuries occur in our homes, but only a third of people use safety glasses when they should be required. Safety glasses provide vital eye protection for the summer home projects you may be planning this year.
Safety glasses offer more protection than standard eyewear with impact-resistant lenses, stronger, heat-resistant frames, and a fit that is close to the face. Our ocular department at NeoVision offers both prescription and nonprescription (plano) safety glasses fittings to keep you safe for all your summer jobs.
4. Avoid Irritating Dry Eye Flare-Ups
Summer’s hot, windy weather is a recipe for drying out your eyes by evaporating your eye’s protective tear film. Everything from driving with the windows down to sitting too close to your A/C vent can lead to irritated, scratchy, red eyes.
Dry eyes can be avoided with the use of wrap-around glasses with UV shielding for the ultimate eye protection. This style of eyewear not only fends off the sun’s harmful UV rays but also keeps air from drying out your eyes by surrounding them with a complete barrier.
Dry eyes can also flare up from seasonal eye allergies that are common in the summer months. When allergens such as pet dander, pollen, mold, dust, and pollution get into your eye it can instantly set off an uncomfortable response. Over-the-counter eye drops and an air purifier can eliminate mild cases, but reach out to your eye doctor if it escalates with lasting effects and vision changes.
5. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well for Healthy Eyes
Working and playing hard in the summer sun can quickly lead to dehydration, lack of nutrients, and all the negative effects that come with it. Our eyes depend on a balanced diet and plenty of water to stay healthy. Be on the lookout for these essential nutrients your eyes crave in your summer snacks for clearer vision:
- Vitamin-C: Oranges, Strawberries, Grapefruit
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, Chia Seeds, Walnuts
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Kale, Spinach, Green Beans, Broccoli, Eggs
The long-term effects on the eyes of a healthy diet include a reduced risk of cataracts, formation of healthy eye cells, filtering out harmful blue wavelengths of light, and slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Contacting NeoVision Eye Center for an Eye Exam
If you have more questions or concerns about your eye’s health this summer, please visit us at NeoVision Eye Center in Union City! Our expert ophthalmologists have helped protect and improve the vision of our Bay Area patients with over 20 years of experience diagnosing and treating eye diseases and optical issues in children, adults, and seniors.
Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam can provide you with the help and the information to protect your vision for years to come!