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Summer Eye Health Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun

By May 22, 2023February 14th, 2024No Comments

Your eyes are among your body’s most delicate and important assets. While the body’s natural protections like eyelashes and a thin film of tears create a mini forcefield against unwanted intrusion, it’s still a good idea to take good care of your eyes – especially during the summer.

Summertime is a season of outdoor activities that put your eyes at unusually high risk for UV damage, chemical burn, flying debris, allergies, and even infections. Fortunately, you can still enjoy your full schedule of summertime fun and keep your eyes safe with just a little extra care. We're here to share with you a few essentials summer eye health tips.

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Wear Goggles When You Go Swimming

Whether you're swimming in a beautiful blue pool or a natural body of water, wear your goggles. Swimming pools are full of chlorine, with negative side effects for your eyes that you are probably aware of. Most people experience some amount of redness and burning when their eyes are exposed to chlorinated pool water. While you might normally close your eyes underwater, you can't always control exposure. It's always safer to wear goggles. 

In natural bodies of water, the lack of chlorine is just as risky. Microorganisms are a part of any ecosystem, but this also puts you at risk of a bacterial infection in your eyes if you swim in lakes, rivers or the ocean without goggles.

summer eye health tips

So pop on a pair of goggles any time you're about to dive in. Not only will your eyes be safer, but you can also have a look at the cool world below the waves.

Shield Your Eyes from the Bright Summer Sun

Summer eye health also depends on UV exposure. When your eyes are exposed to UV rays, it can cause clouding and cataracts over time. Cataracts don't happen all at once, but they occur over a lifetime of too much sun exposure without enough protection. This is why doctors advise that you wear a wide-brimmed hat and wrap-around sunglasses when out in the sun. In fact, you can keep sporting your stylish shades on cloudy days because UV can cut right through clouds even though brightness levels are much lower.

So, whether you're out playing soccer in the grass or working on your tan from a lounge chair, wear your shades and shield your eyes with a hat.

Find an SPF Facial Lotion for Your Eyelids

Protect your eyelids from sunburns and heightened risk of skin cancer. Did you know that 5-10% of all skin cancer occurs on the eyelid? That's a lot of eyelid sunburns.

At the same time, you don't want to get normal sludgy sunscreen in your eyes - that stuff burns! This means you need a special solution to protect your eyes from sunburn and skin cancer risks without the risk of sunscreen smearing or running into your eyes. The answer is facial lotion with an SPF rating or a sun-stick rated for facial use. Just a little bit of extra SPF in your facial care can prevent sunburnt eyelids and help you protect from skin cancer all over when it's time to play, hike, or tan in the summer sun.


Protect Your Eyes from Dry Moving Air

Your eyes are also at a heightened risk for dryness in the summer. There are three ways you can protect yourself from summertime dry-eye: Take good care of your contacts, avoid fans and dry winds, and carry artificial tears. Try these summer eye health tips to avoid dry eyes.

Tend to Your Contacts

First, if you wear contacts in the summer, take good care of them. Take your contacts out and re-cleanse them regularly. If you wear disposables, don't wear them for two days in a row - even on sleepovers. Only swim in contacts rated for swimming, and take out your contacts if your eyes start to feel irritated.

Don't Stare Into Fans or Winds

Dry winds, dry air-conditioned air, and cooling fans can all dry out your eyes if you're not careful. Shades can help protect your eyes from the wind outdoors, and try to avoid looking directly into fans or vents - even when you're cooling down. Keep your eyes closed when blowing air on your face and points fans at your body instead of your head when trying to keep cool for long periods of time.

Use Artificial Tear Drops

Carry a little bottle of artificial tears, also known as unmedicated eye drops. Artificial tears are just saline and oil designed to mimic the natural film your eyes produce to protect your eyeballs and clear out unwanted dust particles. A few drops can help with dry-eye, deal with sandy wind, and refresh your vision after swimming or wearing contacts.


Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is also a great way to promote eye health. Your eyes are all moisture, and dehydration can lead to eye strain. As we know, it's all too easy to get dehydrated during the summer, Between the hot sun, the drying AC, and endless fun activities, you can easily forget to stop for water. Try to keep a water bottle with you at all times and empty it at least two or three times a day. During the summer, if you're not constantly refilling your water bottle, you're probably not drinking enough water.

Eat Healthy Foods for Your Eyes

You can also promote summer eye health by enjoying the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows that carrots are good for your eyes, but so are many other summer-perfect snacks and sides. Go for fresh summer salads of leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, and zucchini. Enjoy sweet potato sides and snack on mixed nuts. Enjoy oranges, grapefruits, and fruit salads with mixed berries. Even your breakfast eggs have lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health.

Watch Out for Summer Allergies

Not all allergies happen in the spring and fall. Some people have wicked summertime allergies, which cause your eyes to redden, burn, and tear up constantly. Take good care of your eyes if you have summer allergies. Take your antihistamines before heading out into the summertime fresh air, and make an extra effort to stay well-hydrated. Artificial tear eye drops and extra vitamin C can also help you avoid negative allergy side effects on your eyes this season.

Protect Your Eyes During Yard Work

Don't forget to wear eye protection when working on the lawn. Flying debris from mowing and trimming, for example, pose a unique eye risk despite your protective skull structure and formidable brows. Wearing sturdy non-designer shades or other eye protection gear can ensure that you don't catch a flying scrap of dried grass in the eye.

Help Your Friends Do the Same

Lastly, encourage your friends and family to take equally good care of their eyes. Summer eye health is something you can share.

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