Spring is coming to a close, which means summer is right around the corner.
With summer comes spending much more time outdoors. You’re no doubt dreaming of all the fun activities you can do — like picnics, hiking, and visiting the beach. There’s much to look forward to now that the weather’s warming up.
Before you apply your sunscreen, put on your favorite summer clothing, and head out to spend the day outdoors, there’s one more thing you’ll need to think about: your eyes. Protecting your eyes during your extended time outside is vital for keeping them healthy.
Here are a few tips from your Las Vegas ophthalmologist to protect your eyes this summer and every summer to follow.
The Importance of Summer Eye Protection
Your eyes are essential. They allow you to see the world and everything around you. You only get one set, so keeping them safe and healthy should be a top priority. One way to do that is to protect them in the summertime.
But why is summer eye protection so important? Well, for one thing, the sun can damage your retinas or even burn your corneas. Without proper protection, you may also increase your risk of developing cancer on your eyelids and around your eyes. UV rays may even increase your risk of cataracts later in life.
With proper eye protection, you can keep foreign objects out of your eyes. This will help you avoid scratches and other issues. You’ll also keep your eyes safe from chemicals like chlorine and sunscreen, and even reduce your risk of developing eye infections.
8 Tips for Summer Eye Protection from Your Las Vegas Ophthalmologist
Proper summer eye protection is vital for keeping your eyes safe — for a number of reasons. Brimhall Eye Center is here to provide you with essential tips to keep your eyes safe and healthy while you enjoy everything that the summer season has to offer.
1. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses should be an essential accessory in summer. No matter where you go, you shouldn’t leave home without them. Even on cloudy days, sunglasses are a must.
It’s not enough to buy any old sunglasses, though. Look for options that feature polarized lenses and block UV-A and UV-B rays. Sunglasses with the ASNI classification are generally the best ones for outdoor use.
2. Don a Hat
In addition to sunglasses, find yourself a hat or two to pair with your summer outfits. Even the best sunglasses have spots where UV rays can sneak in. A wide-brimmed hat helps block those harmful rays.
With a hat and sunglasses combo, you’ll be getting the best protection possible.
3. Use Goggles When You Go Swimming
Most pools use chlorine, a chemical that kills germs that could otherwise cause you to get sick. While helpful, it can be rather harsh on your eyes. The easiest way to avoid the burning sensation in your eyes that many people associate with swimming is to wear goggles.
You should also wear your goggles when you go swimming in an ocean or lake. While these natural bodies of water don’t have chlorine, they may have other contaminants that could hurt your eyes.
4. Avoid Contacts When You Go for a Swim
Do you wear contacts? Well, you might not want to wear them when you go swimming in a pool or any other body of water.
Any microorganisms or bacteria that might not be harmful to you otherwise could get trapped under your lenses. This will significantly increase your risk of developing an eye infection.
If you can’t see well enough to swim without contacts or glasses, consider investing in a good set of prescription goggles. Another option is to take out your contacts immediately after you go swimming and throw them away.
Goggles are a summer essential when cooling off in the water.
5. Wear Protective Eyewear When Working Outdoors
With the warmer weather, you may decide it’s time to take up some outdoor maintenance tasks. Whether you’re painting your fence, pressure washing the exterior of your home, or mowing your lawn, you should always put on protective eyewear. That way, you can keep chemicals, dirt, and other debris from getting in your eyes.
In addition to these tasks, you should also wear protective eyewear if you’re going mountain biking, riding a dirtbike or go-kart, or taking part in any other fun activity that could kick up dirt, sand, or rocks.
6. Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated
Believe it or not, your diet and hydration play essential roles in maintaining the health of your eyes. While a healthy diet and plenty of water are critical all year round, you should be particularly vigilant in the summer.
Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Many of these foods contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for optimal eye health. For instance, vitamins C and E can help slow or prevent age-related macular degeneration.
As for your water intake, you’re more likely to become dehydrated in the summer. Insufficient water intake can affect your tear production, which can lead to dry eyes. Increasing the amount of water you drink can help to avoid or reverse this issue. It can also keep your body healthy and functioning at its best.
7. Wash Your Hands Regularly and Minimize Eye Touching
You use your hands for many things — like tying your shoes, petting the dog, and cutting vegetables for dinner.
No matter how clean you think items are, you can still pick up bacteria and other contaminants that can harm your eyes if you touch them. Avoid touching your eyes and face as much as possible. You should also wash your hands regularly, especially if you do have to touch your eyes.
8. Protect Your Child’s Eyes, Too
Your eyes aren’t the only ones that need to be protected. If you have children, you need to watch out for their vision health, too. It’s never too early to start.
Make sure that your children wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat every time they go outside. Apply (and reapply) sunscreen regularly, and ensure that your child has a pair of good-fitting goggles for water activities. The earlier you start protecting their eyes, the healthier their vision will be later in life.
Ready for Some Summertime Fun?
You’ve got your wardrobe swapped over and your summertime activities booked. Before you run outside and spend all day in the sun having a picnic or swimming in the pool, make sure you have sunglasses, goggles, and a hat. They are all vital for keeping your eyes healthy.
Do you need additional tips to protect your eyes this summer or have general questions about your eye health? Brimhall Eye Center is here for you. Contact us today.