The summer months are finally here, which means that many of you will start spending more time outdoors. As you enjoy the fresh air, do not forget how important it is to protect the health of your eyes. The team at Vista Eye Specialists strongly suggests the following summer-related safety tips so that your eyes will stay disease- and injury-free:
Choose Good Sunglasses
By “good,” we do not just mean stylish — though you certainly ought to pick out a nice looking pair so you will wear them more often. The key is to select sunglasses that actual offer UV protection since UV ray exposure is known to increase your likelihood of having macular degeneration and cataracts down the road.
While ordinary sunglasses can shield you from glare so that you can see in spite of the sun’s brightness, that does not mean they will do the important work of protecting your eyes from UV damage. When shopping, look for glasses that promise to block 100 percent of UV rays (both UVA and UVB.) It is also better to choose a pair where the lenses wrap around your eyes to block out UV rays that can hit your eyes from side angles.
Put on a Hat Too
Another way to keep the sun from damaging your eyes is to shade your face with a brimmed hat. Whether you opt for a sunhat or a baseball cap, any accessory that helps block rays from hitting your eyes is beneficial in the long term.
Swim with Goggles
Many people view goggles as a tool for seeing underwater, but their value is much more significant on a safety level. While chlorine and other chemicals can irritate your eyes when you swim in a pool, snug goggles will keep the water out of your eyes and prevent a stinging sensation.
Goggles also play a safety role outside of a pool when swimming in lakes, ponds and rivers. Bacteria and algae abound in freshwater bodies, and you risk an eye infection if that bacteria enters your eye. By wearing goggles, you will severely minimize these potential complications.
Flush Out Irritants — No Rubbing!
Two of the more common summer eye irritants are both beach related: sand and sunscreen.
The old joke about a beach visit is that you get sand in places you do not remember that you have. It can be even worse if that sand gets in a place you definitely do remember, namely your eyes.
Should that occur, do not rub; instead, start blinking to see if your natural tears will remove the sand. Then wash out the eye with a saline solution or a running faucet to try to flush the sand out more thoroughly. If it still feels like sand is in there after multiple attempts, seek medical attention.
It is also fairly common for sunscreen to sweat into your eye and cause a burning sensation. In this case, flush it out with water and then avoid the temptation to rub the eyes as that can just cause further injury. With large enough sunglasses, you can perhaps avoid this headache altogether by not putting suntan lotion so close to your eyes in the first place.
If You Need Assistance, Call Us
Hopefully these tips will help you to avoid needing any special eyecare this summer, but in the event you do run into a problem, do not hesitate to contact Vista Eye Specialists at 1-888-393-5264.