If you’re anything like me, you spend a good chunk of the summer outside on the weekends. And while spending time in the sun outside is fun, I also know that it comes with a risk to your eyes and vision. In fact, there are some ways we can protect our eyes and maintain healthy vision this summer.
Summer Eye Allergies
Eye allergies are very common and occur when the eyes come into contact with something that triggers an immune system response. They usually occur during pollen season and affect millions of Americans, who often experience seasonal rhinitis (commonly called hay fever) as well as conjunctivitis (eye allergies). Also known as allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, eye allergies are typically caused by airborne particles like pollen and mold spores that come into contact with the mucous membrane inside the eyes and nose.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses or wash your face off after being outside.
- If you wear contacts, stick with daily disposable lenses while allergy season is in full swing.
- Pollen counts are highest in early morning, so keep up on counts before planning outdoor activities.
- Take an over the counter antihistamine to help reduce eye itchiness and redness.
- Keep your house as clean as possible to reduce allergens.
- You can take steps to prevent eye allergies by avoiding triggers as much as possible.
- You can treat and prevent summer eye allergies with a little planning and preparation.
Most people wear sunglasses in the summer and not other times of the year because they are concerned with looking cool. There are reasons beyond style to protect your eyes with glasses though. UV radiation can cause photokeratitis, also known as an eye sunburn. UV damage is cumulative and photo-aging can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. Sunglasses don’t have to block all light to be helpful; an eyewear rating called visible light transmission (VLT) measures how much light gets through. Protecting your eyes from UV rays is important for a number of reasons. Be sure to wear large-framed sunglasses that offer good overall protection.
Hydration: Your eyes and body will thank you for it
Dehydration can affect your entire body, especially the sensitive skin and mucous membranes around your eyes. Dehydration can lead to dry eye syndrome, also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). Some medications can cause dry eyes as a side effect. If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen, you may experience dry eyes. Heating and air conditioning systems can contribute to low humidity, resulting in dry eyes. Dry eyes can lead to blurred vision or make your vision feel “gritty” or “scratchy”. Your eyes may burn or itch, especially if you have allergies. It’s important to keep both your skin and eyes hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eat more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics that increase the amount of fluid lost from your body. Avoid exposure to smoke and other irritants that cause your eyes to tear up or become red.
Do not swim without Goggles
If you don’t wear goggles and are exposed to chlorine regularly, your eyes will be worn down, causing them to change shape entirely. This can result in blurred vision and difficulty focusing on objects. You may also spend less time swimming, which will have negative impacts on your health as well. So while it may seem like an inconvenience at first, wearing goggles makes it much easier to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Wearing goggles is crucial to maintaining healthy eyes and best way to prevent your eyes from being damaged by chlorine.
Don’t Rub your Eyes
Rubbing eyes when they are itchy is a bad idea and it can cause abrasions and scratches to the cornea. Forceful rubbing and scratching can lead to infection of the conjunctiva, eyelids, or other parts of the eye. If your eyes are itchy try not to rub but use eyedrops instead. Stop rubbing eyes by finding the source of the allergy. Rubbing eyes increases the risk of infection, irritation and damage to cornea, so try to stay away from rubbing your eyes. You can treat itchy, red eyes with a simple cold compress or antihistamines. If the problem persists, consider if you are getting enough sleep and wearing eye protection in appropriate circumstances.
Don’t ignore vision symptoms
You never really think about your eyesight until something changes. We take our eyesight for granted until it begins to fade, blur, or a notice something strange happens with our vision. When you begin to notice changes in your sight, don’t ignore it. Your eyeballs are an important part of your body and one minor change can cause major injuries like blindness. Take care of your vision before it is too late.
So in order to prevent any untoward incident, one must take care of eye care more, especially in the summers. A common problem that most people face during summers is severe itching and irritation of eyes. To protect the eyes from such problems, we should follow the above mentioned tips in a proper manner and we can enjoy our holidays without any tension. Don’t visit an eye doctor regularly to keep different infections away from your eyes.