Protect your Eyes from the Summer SunPosted June 15, 2022
Summertime approaching means perfecting your summer bodies and planning exciting vacations. As we prepare for the warm months, we often miss paying attention to one of the most important parts of our body affected by the heat– our eyes. Just as you put on sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, or hide under an umbrella from UV rays, you also need to be protecting your eyes!
Eye Conditions Related to Summer Heat
As the months continue, and the sun becomes stronger, you may experience dry eyes. This is due to the tear film on the eye evaporating more quickly from the sunlight.
The pollutants and irritants in the air can bring about redness, itching, and burning sensations in the eyes. Of course, allergies don’t pose any long term effects, and are typically short-lived, but they can be very uncomfortable.
Otherwise known as “pink eye,” this eye infection is common during the spring and summer months. Symptoms include redness of eyes, prickling sensation, discharge, and watery eyes. It is usually due to a viral or bacterial infection and can be passed from person to person.
Caused by clogged oil glands and bacteria on the eyelid, styes can cause extreme discomfort. Swimming without swimming goggles, improper contact lens care, or simply not removing your makeup may cause a stye to form on your eyelid. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain.
A painful, temporary eye condition caused by exposure to UV rays. Indicators you may be suffering from photokeratitis can include the feeling that something is in your eye, a high tear flow, or bloodshot eyes.
Six Ways to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
- Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Remember to wear your sunglasses even on cloudy days. When it is sunny, the natural human reaction is to squint, which decreases the amount of light that gets into your eyes. When it is cloudy, we tend to squint less, meaning even more light gets into our eyes.
- Cover the parts of your eyes not protected by your sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes with dirty hands.
- Use lubricating eye drops to moisten dry eyes and wash out allergens. Dry eyes can become very problematic during the summer months, so using eye drops frequently can relieve this discomfort.
- Eat healthy and drink water. When it is hot outside, we are more likely to become dehydrated. If dehydrated, your bodies’ natural ability to make tears is affected. Staying hydrated can help to continue normal tear production and prevent dry eyes.
- Use goggles at the pool. Chlorine can be incredibly dangerous to the eyes, causing irritation and dry eyes. If going for a swim in a natural body of water, oftentimes the water can be filled with contaminants which can damage your eyes.
The summer months and the unforgiving UV rays can be detrimental to proper eye health. Vacations and outdoor fun can often distract you from the wellbeing of your bodies, so remember to take care of yourself!