With summers come the scorching sun and its relentless heat, both of which do no good to you. Summer brings with it, its own share of problems. While many of you may be grabbing for the sunscreen to protect your skin, it’s also as equally important to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV (Ultra Violet) rays. Just as unprotected exposure of skin to the sun’s rays can cause cancers such as melanoma or lymphoma, your eyes are also at risk from many diseases. Even when the Sun is hidden by clouds UV rays are still able to penetrate through them. Ultraviolet rays scatter along the atmosphere more fervently than visible light, so even in the shade; UV rays still remain a persistent problem. Below are some helpful summer eye care tips to help protect your eyes and have an enjoyable summer outdoors.
Sunglasses, Sunscreen and Hat
Sunglasses actively block dangerous UV-A and UV-B rays. If they don’t offer 100% UV protection to your eyes, they may be causing more harm than benefit. UV damage adds up over time, so the sooner you begin protecting your eyes, the better, irrespective of your age. Too much sun exposure damages delicate skin around your eyes causing problems ranging from wrinkles to skin cancer. To prevent these, remember to wear the right sunglasses even when you’re in the shade. Although shade reduces your UV exposure to some degree, your eyes still will be exposed to UV rays reflected from buildings, roadways and other surfaces. A wide brimmed hat will provide an extra layer of defense before the sun reaches your eyes. Be careful with sunscreen, if applied too close to the eyes it can enter the eye and cause discomfort.
Hydration is a necessity
Moisture is needed for your eyes to be healthy. Drink a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to prevent dehydrated eyes and skin. Being well hydrated helps in keeping your eyes moist. If your eyes do not make enough tears, you might suffer from dry eyes. This condition is quite common but can worsen when out in the sun and wind.
Prevention is the best cure
Prevention is the greatest way to care for your eyes ensuring that you maintain healthy vision. That means going to an eye doctor once a year and getting a comprehensive eye examination done to rule out any eye related issues. Also avoid getting out during scorching heat unless it’s absolutely necessary. Stay inside when possible especially in the late morning and afternoon when the strength of the sun and ultraviolet radiation exposure are at a peak. Try and plan your outdoor activities accordingly giving you the advantage of protecting your eyes from excessive UV exposure and minimize the damage caused by it.
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.