Does Your Baby Need Glasses?

Tips For Protecting Your Eyes In Summer

Summer is a time to spend hours outdoors swimming, biking, hiking, boating, and playing with your friends and family. Wearing sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from ultraviolet light. However, while you are putting on your favorite sunscreen, chances are you are overlooking another vulnerable part of your body: your eyes.

Here are a few ways you can protect your eyes all summer long.

Wear Sunglasses

Not all sunglasses are created equal. Some are fashionable but don't provide any protection against ultraviolet rays. Here are a few things to do when looking for a pair of quality sunglasses:

  1. Look for UVA and UVB protection. Purchase shades that feature 100% UVA and UVB protection. These are the best sunglasses to protect your eyes against sunlight.
  2. Purchase bigger sunglasses. Sunglasses with larger frames and lenses cover more of your eyes, which protects your eyes and delicate undereye areas.
  3. Consider photochromic lenses. If you always wear glasses, invest in photochromic lenses. These lenses darken when they come in contact with sunlight. Look for photochromic lenses that also offer UVA and UVB protection.

Wear your sunglasses every time you leave the house, even if it is raining or overcast. UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate cloud cover, and wearing sunglasses all the time offers the best protection against sun damage.

Prevent Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when your body isn't able to produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. The summer heat, sun, and all that time spent in pools and lakes can dry your eyes out. Here are a few simple ways you can prevent dry eye this summer:

  1. Slip on swim goggles. Chlorinated water is very drying and irritating. Make sure that your kids are also wearing swim goggles whenever they enter the pool.
  2. Wear a hat. A big, floppy beach hat or a baseball cap featuring your favorite team will protect your eyes from direct sunlight.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to ensure that your body is able to produce enough moisture to protect your eyes.
  4. Avoid peak sunlight hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, peak sunlight hours are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in most areas. Stay inside or in the shade as much as possible during these hours to prevent irritating your eyes.  

Visit your optometrist if, despite protecting your eyes, you still suffer from dry eye. There may be an underlying cause of your dry eye, such as rheumatoid arthritis or collagen vascular disease. Over-the-counter eyedrops are often enough to keep your eyes comfortable. However, if you've tried those, your optician can write a prescription for medicated eye drops.

Turn Down the Central Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner is a lifesaver on hot days. However, running it constantly will lower the humidity in your home, which can irritate your eyes and potentially lead to dry eye. Turning up the temperature of your central air conditioner one or two degrees will protect your eyes and keep your energy bills in check.

If you live in an arid climate, run a humidifier during the summer. This will counteract the effects of the central air conditioner.

Prevent Eye Injuries

Finally, summertime means spending several hours a week mowing the lawn, getting rid of weeds, and spraying chemicals to keep insects out of your flower garden. Wear protective eyewear, such as goggles or a pair of wraparound sunglasses, to prevent a flying rock or pesticides from getting in your eyes.

Like your skin, your eyes must be protected throughout the summer to prevent burning and dry eyes. Speak to an eye doctor for more tips.