Summer means great weather, beach time, and lots of sun. It’s not all sunshine when it comes to protecting your eyes during this hot season, though. Follow these five precautions to keep your eyes safe from harmful rays this summer.
Image via Flickr by manoftaste.de
Did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause both short- and long-term damage to your eyes? One of the best ways to protect them is to wear sunglasses every time you go outside, even when it’s cloudy. Don’t choose just any old shades, though. Be sure that the sunglasses you wear give you 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection and block out 75 to 90 percent of visible light, so that your eyes are fully protected.
AVOID CHLORINE AND SALT WATER OVEREXPOSURE
Chemicals and natural substances that you encounter in your daily life can affect your eyes more than you might think. In the summer, chlorine from over-chlorinated pools and salt water from the ocean are often the cause of stinging, painful eyes. Do yourself a favor, and wear goggles if you plan to open your eyes while underwater. If you can’t help yourself and accidentally take a peek, be sure to rinse your eyes with clean water to minimize the aftereffects.
WATCH OUT FOR SAND
When you’re relaxing on the beach, it’s not just the saltwater that can cause eye damage. If you’re not careful, sand can make its way into your eye, scratching the surface and leading to a corneal abrasion. While these can be minor and result only in discomfort and redness, they can also be serious. Fungus and bacteria can much more easily find their way into your eye when it’s scratched, which can lead to unpleasant infections. Wraparound sunglasses can help shield your eyes from airborne particles like sand.
SKIP THE AFTERNOON SUN
If you’re a sun lover, you may be tempted to catch some rays when it’s high overhead. Since midday is when the sun is most intense, though, this is also the time when you’re most likely to feel its ill effects. Do your best to stay in the shade between about 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when UV radiation from the sun is the most extreme. Soak up the early morning or late afternoon rays, but don’t forget the sunscreen.
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A HAT
If you just can’t bring yourself to skip the strong afternoon sun or if you spend a significant amount of time outdoors throughout the day, wearing sunglasses may not be enough. Invest in a hat, whether it’s a casual visor, your team’s baseball cap, or a stylish wide-brimmed number. If your hat shades your eyes and gives you an extra break from the sun, it can give you extra protection from UV rays. Take this extra step, and your eyes will thank you. Don’t miss out on any fun this summer. By taking these easy steps, you can protect your eyes from the most significant concerns and enjoy great vision for decades to come.