There’s sunscreen lotion for your skin but protecting your eyes in the hot summer sun is just as important. Take a proactive approach to protect your eyes during the summer. You can minimize the risks to your eyes and continue enjoying a lifetime of healthy sight and vision.
Be Sure to Wear Sunglasses with Ultraviolet Protection
Let’s start with the obvious one – sunglasses. Your eyes need as much protection from ultraviolet radiation (UVR) as your skin. UVR comes from the sun and reflects off surfaces such as water or sand.
The best way to protect your eyes from UVR exposure is wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. Remember to wear them even on cloudy days.
In the short-term, too much UVR exposure can cause photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis (more commonly known as “snow blindness”). Continual UVR exposure, particularly to UVB rays, may cause cataracts development, a non-cancerous growth over the cornea called pterygium, or even skin cancer of the eyelids.
Use Goggles at the Pool
Chlorine is designed to protect you from exposure to germs, but has the potential to damage your eyes. Wear goggles every time you go swimming in a pool is an easy, smart solution.
Frequent exposure to chlorine negatively affects the integrity of your corneal epithelium, which provides a layer of protection to your cornea from irritants and pathogens. If that protection is compromised, you have an increased likelihood of corneal abrasion or other eye injuries.
You should also wear goggles if you’re swimming in the ocean and other natural bodies of water, as they contain other contaminants that may hurt your eyes.
Wash Hands and Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
The best way to protect yourself from the spread of communicable diseases is to wash your hands on a regular basis. This practice is crucial to avoid contracting eye-related conditions such as conjunctivitis. You often develop conjunctivitis after touching something that someone else has touched after they rubbed their eyes.
If you do contract conjunctivitis, be sure to wash your hands after putting in eye drops or ointment, to avoid spreading the disease to others.
Another great way to protect your vision this summer? Get a Vision Plan from ASBA. The plan provides quality coverage with low copays for the services you need, including coverage for a Well Vision exam every 12 months.