Keys to Protecting Your Eyes During the Summer

Protecting your eyes during the summer is greatly necessary. In case you didn't know, UV radiation has a powerful effect on them. If you're not careful, this situation could lead to a serious eye condition.
Keys to Protecting Your Eyes During the Summer

Last update: 29 September, 2020

Protecting your eyes during the summer is extremely important as they’re susceptible to aggression due to environmental conditions. The sun is a source of heat and light, however, its ultraviolet rays represent a danger to visual health.

According to specialists at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this is one of the most dangerous times of the year when it comes to eye health. Without adequate protection, the eyes can suffer serious problems, such as cataracts. What preventive measures should you take? Continue reading to find out!

Keys to protecting your eyes during the summer

Believe it or not, protecting your eyes during the summer is actually very simple. It’s just about adopting simple practices and turning them into routine habits. The first one is to wear dark or semi-dark sunglasses with sunscreen every time you go out.

The most appropriate thing is for an optometrist to recommend the sunglasses that you should use since they all have different characteristics. Under normal conditions, you can wear category 3 glasses (this number should be circled on the stem of the glasses).

Also, and for obvious reasons, glasses must have a UV400 filter. This allows protecting your eyes during the summer from 99 to 100%.

On the other hand, polarized sunglasses are the most suitable for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. You should always purchase them in a reputable store, preferably in an optician.

We must note that it’s the optometrist who will be in charge of recommending the appropriate sunglasses if you have some sort of visual deficit. For example, as a general rule, lighter colored lenses are better for myopic people and darker ones for hyperopic people.

A pair of sunglasses on the beach.

Proper habits

It is never good to look directly at the sun. This should not be done, even with dark glasses on. Additionally, it isn’t advisable to get sun exposure for very long periods of time, especially not from noon to 5 pm because it’s exactly at those hours that radiation reaches the earth with greater force.

If you wear contact lenses or glasses, wearing sunglasses is key to protecting your eyes during the summer. Now, certain contact lenses come with a UV filter, which is great, however, sunglasses are a priority in this case.

Moreover, in order to take care of both your eyes and your skin in the summer, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. For this reason, wearing a hat or something that covers your head is a good idea.

A risk factor that increases in the summer is air conditioners, which operate at higher levels than at other times of the year. If you didn’t know, these devices can dry out your eyes significantly. However, it’s possible to prevent it by using eye drops that don’t contain preservatives.

A woman protecting her eyes and skin from the sun by wearing a hat.

Other keys to protecting your eyes during the summer

In the summer, it’s quite common to go to swimming pools to cool off. However, they usually contain large amounts of chlorine. This powerful disinfectant can cause eye irritation and even allergies.

In addition, sometimes, despite the use of chlorine, there can be a proliferation of bacteria in the pool, such as Acanthamoeba, which may cause conjunctivitis. How can you take care of yourself, then? The ideal thing here is to not be in direct contact with the water. You can achieve this by wearing swimming goggles.

Now, we advise against sharing your towel while at the pool, the beach, or the bathroom. Also, avoid touching your eyes as much as you can, no matter how itchy they may feel. Lastly, don’t put makeup on before going in the pool.

Babies and children’s eyes filter ultraviolet rays less effectively than adults’ eyes. This is very important and mustn’t be overlooked. No matter how uncomfortable it may be for them, they should always wear sunglasses and hats during sun exposure.

Conditions derived from ultraviolet rays

Ultraviolet rays can bring horrible consequences to the eyes. Initially, they cause redness, irritation, and blurred vision. If the individual doesn’t take proper measures, the consequences will be much worse over time.

Specialists associate some types of cataracts with prolonged sun exposure. This disease progressively decreases vision and can actually lead to blindness. Another possible effect is the formation of a pterygium, which is a kind of fleshy growth that arises on the surface of the cornea.

There is also a risk of developing photokeratitis or degenerative changes in the cornea that undoubtedly affect vision in a significant way.

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