The eyes are very sensitive organs, which makes sense considering they are one of our primary modes of perceiving the outside world. Damage to your eyes and conditions that impair your vision can have a profoundly negative impact on your quality of life.
Summer is also a time when your eyes are forced to endure some of their toughest conditions. So, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the risks to your eyes and make an effort to do the little things necessary to help protect them from harm.
Will Sunglasses Help Protect My Eyes?
For some people, sunglasses are a fashion statement. For others, they are a convenient way to fight the glare of the bright summer sun. However, quality sunglasses that have UVR protection can also help protect your eyes from the damage posed by the ultraviolet radiation given off by the sun.
If you work in a profession where protect eyewear might be needed, you should look for sunglasses that have a safety rating. This also goes for recreations like fishing where the eyes could accidentally be physically damaged.
If you happen to be out and about and don’t have your sunglasses with you, try wearing a hat with a brim. The overhead protection can help cut down on glare which might also contribute to eye strain.
Should I Wear Goggles When Swimming?
If you go swimming in a chlorinated pool, the water can be very harsh on your eyes. Especially if you attempt to open them underwater. Even if you are swimming in a naturally occurring lake or pond the water may also carry germs and potential parasites that could hurt your eyes. Not to mention the searing sting of salt-laden sea water.
A simple pair of goggles can help protect your eyes from these water-borne irritants. It can also reduce your chances of suffering damage to the epithelial layer, which protects your cornea.
Wear Eye Protection When Necessary
If you work in construction or some other profession that requires protective eyewear, then you understand how important it is to limit physical harm to the eye. Yet protective eyewear is just as important when performing various types of yard work, and home improvement products.
Something like sawdust cutting into your eyes when you are cutting wood, or drywall dust getting into your eyes when you are on a later to replace a ceiling light can suddenly become a major safety issue. Even something like trying to clean a gutter on a windy day could end up blowing material into your eyes that could scratch your cornea.
Keep in mind that sprays and windy conditions can also be a threat. Even something as simple as spray painting an old mailbox when the breeze swirls could lead to a nasty chemical burn for unprotected eyes.
Can Eye Drops Help With Acute Dry Eye?
Your eyes are largely made up of water. When conditions are dry and windy or you are dehydrated, it can affect your eyes. Many people suffering from acute dry eye have the tendency to rub their eyes excessively, which can add to the irritation. At the same time, things like summer pollen can also irritate the eyes, especially if you have eye allergies.
Occasionally using some quality over the counter eye drops can help combat acute dry eye. Just don’t overuse them or use them for more than a week straight. A dry eye problem that lasts this long could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Is It Bad To Rub Or Touch Your Eyes?
The eyes aren’t really meant to contact organs. They are soft and sensitive for a reason. Yet when they are dry or otherwise irritated, it can be tempting to touch and rub them. Especially, if you have so-called “Sand” in the corners of your eyes.
Yet the tissues surrounding the eyes have special Langerhans cells that can potentially trap germs from your hands. While these cells are intended to be part of the immune system, there are certain communicable conditions, like the common cold and flu, that can use them as a passageway into your body.
It’s a good idea to wash your hands before touching your eyes, to prevent the transmission of germs to your eyes. This also goes for individuals with pet allergies. Something as simple as pet dander after petting your neighbor’s dog can transfer from your hands to your eyes, causing a significant reaction.
Can Shampoo And Conditioner Hurt My Eyes?
Soap, shampoo, and most types of hair conditioners have chemicals in them which can severely irritate the eyes. Summer is also a time when people shower and bathe more, so try to be a little careful to avoid getting soap and other bathing materials in your eyes. Try to use a small amount each time and then rinse your hair or face at an angle that will reduce water runoff into your eyes.
Can My Diet Affect My Eyes?
Your diet and your general hydration level can have a big impact on the health of your eyes over the course of a single day. Chronic deficiencies in your diet can even have a long-term impact on your vision and increase your chances of developing eye health conditions.
A diet that is rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to help resist conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. Including a vitamin supplement or eating foods that are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc can also help prevent or slow or the progression of certain eye health symptoms.
You should also be mindful not to become dehydrated. When you are suffering from significant dehydration makes it harder to produce tears, as well as increasing your chances of experiencing dry eye symptoms and other potential vision problems.
Can A Lack Of Sleep Affect Eye Health?
Your eyes go through a lot in the course of a single day. They have to change focus hundreds of time from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. The summer is also a highly active time for a lot of people.
If you cut your sleep short, it can affect your brain’s ability to perform at its best. It can also lead to excess eye strain. Eye strain issues are even more likely to be an issue if you work in a professional that already calls for a lot of screen time.
The summer is certainly a time beloved by many. There is so much to see and do, and so much that needs to be done during the long warm days. Taking the extra time and effort to protect your eyes will go a long way to let you make the most out of this summer, and all the summers yet to come.