As the days get longer and hotter every summer, so too do our activity levels tend to ramp up. With more activity, and with much of that activity occurring outdoors, comes a greater need for us to be mindful of caring for our eyes and the eyes of our loved ones.
The Sun is Not Your Friend
While we all like to bask in the warmth of the sun overhead, it’s no secret that the sun is not always our best friend. Overexposure to the sun is dangerous for our skin and can increase the possibility of certain cancers. It’s also dangerous to our eyes.
To protect your skin, you can use sun screen or clothing. For your eyes, you’ll want a pair of sunglasses that cover not only your eyes but the delicate skin around them. The more your glasses cover the better to help lessen the effect of the sun and the formation of wrinkles around the eye.
A visor cap is also a good idea to shade your peepers because, believe it or not, according to WebMD, you can actually sunburn your eyes! One such condition is known as photokeratitis, when the sun burns the surface of your eye. It can be very painful with persistent redness, blurriness, and even temporary vision loss.
Sunglasses should also offer 100% UV protection (exposure to ultraviolet rays have been shown to accelerate the formation of cataracts). To be sure you get the right sunglasses for your eyes and your face, look for stickers on the glasses indicating the level of UV protection or talk to your eye care professional.
The Right Tool for The Job
Got a DIY project going this summer, or even good old-fashioned lawn mowing, weed whacking, or leaf blowing? Whenever there’s flying debris around (grass, leaves, limbs, flying rocks or grit, or even sawdust), there’s a good chance of eye injury.
While goggles or safety glasses might not be the top choice of the style and fashion conscious, they are a good choice for those wanting to protect their eyes. And don’t forget about protecting the eyes of those around you. You might be driving the mower, pounding that nail, or running the weed whacker, but debris can fly in virtually any direction. Be mindful of those standing and playing nearby.
While more than half of all eye injuries occur at home, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that only about 1 out of every 3 three people wears eye protection when they should!
With more than 25,000 people seeking treatment for sports-related eye injuries every year, that’s a lot of eye damage that can be prevented.
Golf balls, tennis balls, baseballs, softballs, paint balls, and any sport-related projectiles, can do a number on your eyes if you don’t wear proper eye protection.
Most organized sporting activities will have recommendations of appropriate eyewear. When in doubt, consult with an eye care professional (like the experts at Sunglass & Optical Warehouse).
While pool chlorine is rarely at sufficient levels to harm your vision, it can irritate your eyes. So too can airborne allergens like pollen or oils from plants such as poison ivy or sumac.
When in the pool, wear swim goggles and wash your eyes with fresh water when you get out (bottled water will do). You may also consider wearing goggles when you swim in ANY body of water. Salt water, debris, and bacteria in fresh water lakes and streams can also irritate the eyes.
If stinging and redness persists after contacting any of these or other eye irritants, have your eye doctor take a look—there could be infection or some other reason for the discomfort. If you are a contact wearer, you might try switching from wearing contacts to wearing glasses in the summer since contacts tend to trap allergens and debris in your eyes.
We’re Here to Help
No one wants their summertime fun to turn tragic. For more than 30 years, the skilled team of optometrists, opticians, and other eye care professionals at Sunglass & Optical Warehouse have been meeting the eye care needs of Greater San Diego all year round.
Contact us today to discuss how we might be able to help you address summer time eye protection and any concerns you might have about eye protection for you and your family’s active lifestyle.