Summer is just around the corner, and many people have cookouts, swimming and boating excursions, and all other outdoor activities planned. Many patients know that they should care for their skin during the hotter months, but many neglect their eyes.
Properly caring for your vision can help you avoid a number of serious eye conditions. Here, our Detroit, MI team discusses eye care tips for summer, and explains how patients can get the most out of their outdoor time.
Use Complete UV Protection
Harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is emitted by the sun and can be reflected off of water, sand, and other surfaces. UVR exposure can lead to long-term eye problems such as pterygium, cataracts, or cancer of the eyelid.
In order to effectively shield the eyes from UVR, invest in sunglasses that offer 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses should be worn any time you are outdoors, including cloudy days.
Wear Goggles When Swimming
According to a 2008 study, chlorine exposure can increase the risk of corneal abrasion or other eye conditions.
The best way to combat this issue is to wear goggles whenever you are in the pool. It is also a good idea to wear them while swimming in lakes and oceans as well, as natural bodies of water often contain other contaminants that can be harmful to your eyes.
Wear a Hat
Even if you diligently wear sunglasses every time you go outside, your eyes can still be exposed to UVR. To compensate for the gaps along the sides of your glasses, wear a hat with a large brim, at least three inches wide.
Wearing sunglasses and a hat can significantly decrease your risk for basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer that affects the eyelids.
Eye Protection for Outdoor Activities
If you have ever played outdoor sports, you know that sun exposure is not the only factor that can irritate the eyes. If you play baseball, soccer, or any other sport where getting sand or dust in the eyes is likely, invest in complete eye protection to prevent foreign bodies from irritating the cornea.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
Plenty of foods can contribute to healthy eyes. For example, those rich in antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, can actually help prevent the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods containing zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E are also beneficial.
Staying hydrated is crucial during the summer months. When the body is dehydrated, it loses its ability to produce quality tears. This can lead to dry eye syndrome and other serious eye conditions. By drinking plenty of water, you can reverse many of these symptoms and protect your vision.
Use Eye Drops if Necessary
Sometimes, despite doing everything right, patients may still experience dry eyes or other conditions during the summer months. To protect your eyes from irritants and contaminants, eye drops can be used. During a visit at our practice, our doctors can help you determine which type of lubricant will be more effective for your situation.
Contact Us to Learn More
Take steps to protect your eyes this summer. Being proactive can not only help you avoid inconvenient irritation, it can also reduce your risk for serious health conditions in the future. To learn more, call us at (586) 323-2020 or contact us online anytime.