Most individuals understand the importance of sunscreen to protect their skin, but many don’t consider protecting their eyes from the sun and the elements. The truth is, this time of year there are certain hazards that can affect your eye health. Dr. Byrd, your eye doctor in Detroit, MI, is here to offer nine eye care tips for summer so you can enjoy your favorite activities without compromising your health or vision.
#1: Choose Glasses with Sufficient UV Protection
All sunglasses are not created equal. When shopping for your summer shades, it is important to read and understand the UV protection label. Choose a pair of sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Excessive exposure to these harmful rays can cause eye health problems over time, including cataracts or pterygium – a benign growth over the cornea. There are plenty of affordable sunglasses with proper UV protection, so you do not have to spend tons of cash on protecting your vision.
#2: Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Even when you wear sunglasses, harmful rays can still reach your eyes. To maximize sun protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat anytime you go outside. Not only will this protect your eyes, but it will also help keep harmful rays away from your scalp and face.
#3: Wear Eye Protection for Outdoor Chores
Summer is the time for gardening and landscaping. Be sure to wear proper safety glasses when doing yardwork or woodwork to prevent dust, sand, and allergens from entering your eyes. These irritants can cause corneal abrasions, leading to pain and infection.
#4: Wash Your Hands Often
Proper handwashing guidelines should be followed year-round. However, exposure to infection is increased during the summer months, as individuals and families share communal areas like pools, lakes, and beaches. Keeping your hands clean will reduce the risk of eye infections and help preserve your overall health.
#5: Wear Goggles When Swimming
Pools have chlorine and other chemicals that can be hazardous to your eyes. Natural bodies of water – such as lakes, rivers, and oceans – can contain all kinds of bacteria. No matter where you choose to swim this year, be sure you wear goggles to protect your eyes.
#6: Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy
In the summertime, individuals are far more likely to become dehydrated. Not only does this affect normal eye function, it also makes it more difficult for the eyes to produce tears. As a result, dry eyes and other vision problems are more likely to occur.
#7: Wear Proper Eye Protection When Playing Sports
Whether you prefer baseball, soccer, or a friendly game of beach volleyball, always choose the right eye protection for the sport. We recommend wraparound lenses to shield your eyes and face from the sun. Those playing contact sports should consider shatterproof lenses as well. Your eye doctor can help you determine which glasses will serve you best.
#8: Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation quickly leads to decreased cognition when performing visual tasks. In addition, tiredness can cause dry eyes to develop. This is why many individuals rub their eyes when they are tired. But doing so increases the chances of irritation and infection. To keep your eyes in peak condition, get a full night’s sleep.
#9: Avoid Peak Sun Hours
The sun’s rays are always harmful, but they are strongest during the midday hours. Stay inside as much as possible during 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If you must go outdoors, follow the proper precautions.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you would like to learn more about ways to improve eye health, schedule a consultation at our practice, serving Dearborn Heights, Lincoln Heights, and greater Detroit. Contact us online anytime or give us a call at (313) 383-1300.