Essential Eye Care Tips For A Bright And Healthy Summer
As we bask in a heatwave in Northern Ireland, it’s important to remember that your eyes require special attention and care during the summer. From allergies and sun exposure to pesky foreign particles and recreational activities, there are quite a few things that can affect our eye health.
But don’t worry! In this blog, we’ve got you covered with some valuable tips to keep your eyes in tip-top shape and make sure your vision stays crystal clear all summer long. So, let’s dive right in!
Most people are aware of how ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, can damage their skin. But many people don’t realise that UV light can also damage their eyes. We now know that being exposed to too much UV light increases your chances of developing eye problems so it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun, even on cloudy days.
Follow these precautions to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays:
- Wear sunglasses which carry the CE or British Standard quality marks. This is important even if you are wearing contact lenses with a UV filter, because the sunglasses will help protect the skin around your eyes, as well as the eye itself.
- It is especially important for children to wear sunglasses because their pupils are bigger than adults’, making the risk of sun damage much higher.
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, check that the lenses include a UV filter, for everyday protection.
- Choose sunglasses that sit closer to the eye and wrap around the sides of your face, blocking out more light.
- Wear a wide-brimmed sun hat for more protection.
- Try to avoid prolonged outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Never look at the sun directly – even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Need a new pair of sunglasses? Book in for a sunglasses consultation with us. We have a wide range of brands to suit all personalities and budgets.
When the pollen count is high in the summer, you may be suffering from hay fever or seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Some people’s bodies react to tiny particles of pollen in the air, as if they are a harmful invader and an allergic response is unleashed. This happens because pollen binds to ‘mast cells’ in the eye, causing them to release histamine. This substance makes the eyes red, itchy, watery and swollen and you may have clear, stringy discharge.
If you do suffer from hay fever, here are some tips to cope with it better:
- Try to stay indoors and keep your windows closed if possible. If this is too unrealistic, you can at least ensure you use the air conditioning in the car, to circulate the air internally
- Wash your hair and hands often
- Damp dust your home with a wet cloth as often as you can
- When outdoors, wear sunglasses to keep the pollen out of your eyes
- Don’t rub your eyes. Blink twenty times instead
- Laying a cold compress across closed eyelids (a clean flannel soaked in cold water) will reduce swelling and redness and give temporary relief
- You can use ocular lubricant drops, also known as artificial tears, as often as you need to. The lubricant will wash out some of the pollen, helping to stop pollen sticking to the eye
If you are concerned about hay fever and the effects it is having on your eyes, book into the practice and have a chat with us.
Summer is the perfect season for getting your hands dirty in the garden and going on exciting outdoor adventures! Along with all this fun comes a small risk of foreign objects trying to sneak into our eyes. Safety first and follow our guidelines to minimize the chances of any eye-related mishaps.
- Always inspect your lawn for debris before you start to mow it as flying stones or wood can cause eye damage. Invest in safety goggles or glasses to reduce the risk of accidents and injury
- Wear goggles when mowing the lawn, pruning plants, or using power tools
- Be mindful of wind conditions that may carry debris towards your eye
- When taking part in sporting activities wear sports goggles or glasses to keep your eyes protected
- If a foreign object enters your eye, avoid rubbing it. Instead, rinse your eye gently with clean water and seek immediate medical attention if the discomfort persists.
Did you know we have an emergency eye clinic? If you suddenly start to experience a problem with your eyes or they have become sore, inflamed or red you can be assessed be us.
Swimming is a popular activity to cool off in the summer. It’s crucial to protect your eyes in chlorinated pools, the sea, lakes or rivers to avoid eye infections:
- Wear properly fitting goggles to create a barrier between your eyes and the water, protecting them from chemicals, bacteria, and potential irritants
- After leaving the pool or sea, rinse your eyes with clean water to remove chlorine or saltwater residue
- Never wear contact lenses while swimming, as they can increase the risk of eye infections. If you absolutely have to, the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) advice for swimmers is to use daily disposable lenses with a well-sealed pair of goggles or mask and discard the lenses immediately after you finish swimming. Or opt for prescription swimming goggles or try our night lenses
- If you find your eyes are irritated after swimming, use lubricant eye drops, also known as artificial tears, to soothe the eyes. Pop into the practice and buy them from us
Our eyes are incredibly important, and it’s crucial to take good care of them during the summer season. By following these simple tips you can enjoy a fantastic summer while keeping your eyes healthy and happy.
Don’t forget to schedule regular eye tests with us to keep you looking good, seeing great and keeping your eyes healthy for life.