Summer is here and so is its heat! While taking care of skin is important, eyes need careful attention too…
Summer brings a host of happy times around, but so does it bring a lot many troubles to our skin and eyes. While there are many skin care regime and products to prevent skin damage that people follow religiously, eyes are one thing that goes unnoticed, almost always! With the sun at its peak rage, eyes become prone to the harmful rays the most, obviously owing to the delicate tissues in it.
Hay fever, chlorine from swimming pools or simply increased exposure to sunlight- all can contribute harsh effects on our eyes. Why? Factors can vary from increased pollen during summers or grit caused by the ever-rising pollution, etc. Effects? From eye infections, styes, viral conjunctivitis, dry eyes, hay fever to common eye allergies, summer puts a toll on many eye related problems.
How to care for your eyes?
Eyes need attention all year round, but more so during summers. Here are some precautionary tips for your sensitive eyes to take into practice, especially in this time of the year…
Shade that lens
One of the most important tip is also the most obvious one that people deliberately tend to overlook. Yes, it is the sunglasses! A good sunglass may be a little over your budget but it’s one investment you must shell out your money for. With increased sunlight comes the dangers of increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation that emits profusely during summers. Best way to protect your eyes from these rays are wearing sunglasses that come with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection, like for example, using polarised lenses.
Sunglasses protect your eyes but not so much near the sides and upper part, so least to say, eyes do get exposed to UV rays, even if indirectly. One way to reduce this is by wearing hats along with your sunglasses to minimise harm on your eyes.
Eyewear with swimwear
Chlorine in water is designed to keep germs and bacteria at bay and help prevent waterborne diseases. But under the harsh sunlight, chlorine in swimming pools also have the potential to hurt your eyes. Bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, also known as ‘pink eye’, is one of the most common infections that can spread through pools. The simplest solution to this is by wearing a pair of swimming goggles.
One misconception that people have is sunglasses or protective gears are only needed when you’re a grown up. As children, their time under the sun is more with increased outdoor activities, poolside games, etc. thus making them more susceptible to eye damage. Unless, parents start taking care of their eyes early on by ensuring that they wear sunglasses and goggles during swimming.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
This is applicable throughout all seasons and summer is no exception. Studies highlight the practice of washing hands properly on a regular basis to avoid the spread of communicable diseases. This is also important to avoid eye-related conditions like conjunctivitis. Also after any kind of eye surgery like cataract, LASIK or glaucoma surgery, your eyes become more prone to infections and so careful measures as simple as washing hands before touching the eyes is a must.
Use eye drops
Despite best attempts to prevent eye infections and related damage in summers, eyes like any other part of the body, can tend to fall prey to problems. At such times, it’s better to use some kind of eye drops to help heal, prevent or manage eye problems. This is especially true for people who might have previously contracted some kind of infection or gone through any eye related surgeries. There are various over the counter eye drops available at your nearest chemist shop but it is best to consult your doctor or a qualified ophthalmologist to get the right drops for you during summertime.
Foods that help
Precautions taken exteriorly help but naturally too, one can strengthen the eyes and prevent the development of short and long term vision problems, including ones occurring during summers. And yes, it’s not just carrots! Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants known to help resist macular degeneration and cataracts which are found in ample amounts in green leafy vegetables, eggs, etc. Adding a supplement or foods high in vitamin C, E and zinc like berries, almonds, etc. also help slow down and prevent the progression of symptoms.
Summers and dehydration go hand-in-hand, resulting from ignorance of both children and adults to keep themselves hydrated and avoid prolonged time under the harsh sun. Serious dehydration makes it harder for the body to produce tears, leading to dry eye symptoms and related vision problems. A simple solution is to drink lots of water that helps in providing fluid for normal eye function.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
It is very important to get a good night’s rest to maintain the health of your eyes and overall body. The downside of lack of sleep is not usually noticed until one realises that you need visual acuity to perform your daily tasks like cooking, driving, caring for children, etc. Additionally, tired eyes tend to feel dry and encourages you to rub your eyes more often, increasing the chances of exposure to irritants and diseases.