Summer has finally arrived, and as many of you will be grabbing for the sunscreen to protect your skin, it’s also as equally important to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV (Ultra Violet) rays. Just as unprotected exposure of skin to the sun’s rays can cause damage, your eyes are also at risk.
Be prepared and read through our handy summer eyecare tips to help protect your eyes and make for an enjoyable summer outdoors.
1. Shades of Summer – Wear your Sunglasses
Just like your skin, your eyes can get sunburnt too! Excessive exposure to the sun’s damaging rays can cause red, irritated and watery eyes.
The best way to protect your eyes against damage from UV light is to stop the rays entering the eyes by wearing sunglasses – over-sized or wrap-around styles offer the greatest protection.
Don’t forget continued UV exposure can also increase your risk of developing a range of sight-threatening conditions, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Reflective surfaces like the sea, swimming pools and even, dry sandy beaches, can all intensify UV levels.
2. Feel sunny on the inside – Healthy Diet
You can also protect your eyes from the effects of summer from the inside by enjoying a healthy diet rich in green and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Summer veg such as corn on the cob, avocado, lettuce and spinach
are packed full of lutein and zeaxanthin. These eye-friendly nutrients can help to protect against the damaging UV rays.
Take a look at our #EyeFood Blog section for tasty, eye-friendly recipes
3. Up, up & away – Travel Advice
Humidity levels on aeroplanes drop to just 10 -15%. These dry air conditions can cause or exacerbate symptoms of dry eye including sandy/gritty feeling, burning sensation and dry, itchy, red or tired eyes.
To minimise these symptoms make sure you keep yourself hydrated before and throughout your flight and take your lubricating eye drops on board to relieve any irritation.
If you're a contact lens wearer, we recommend you wear your glasses throughout the flight or use your drops more frequently.
4. Pollen Pain - Hay-fever
95% of the UK’s 15 million hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen. To minimise symptoms check the pollen count before leaving home, keep the house and car windows closed, wear wrap-around sunglasses and avoid cutting grass.
5. Keep Hydrated – Drink plenty of water!
During summer, you are more likely to become dehydrated, which can dry out your eyes and make them uncomfortable. Serious dehydration makes it harder for the body to produce tears, leading to dry eye symptoms and other vision problems. Drinking plenty of water each day can prevent and reverse many of the negative effects of dehydration, as well as providing fluid for normal eye function. Try adding fruit or cucumber for added refreshment!
6. Start Young - Protect children's eyes too
It is especially important to protect children's eyes from UV light. Their large pupils and clearer lenses mean they absorb up to 70% more than adults over 18. In fact, more than half of the UV light that your eye will ever absorb is done so before the age of 18!
7. ZZZZZZZZZZ – Get a good night’s sleep
Everyone knows how important it is to get a good night’s rest, however, on warmer nights it can be tricky to get comfortable. Make sure you wear cotton pyjamas and have thin cotton sheets on your bed – they are more breathable than most fabrics. Also for a quick trick, put Aloe Vera gel in the fridge and cover yourself with it before bed; Aloe is naturally cooling and as an added bonus you’ll wake up with super soft skin.
8. Summer Splash - Wear goggles in the pool or sea.
Everyone enjoys a dip in the pool or sea, but you make sure your eyes are protected from all of the chemicals and nasty bugs that thrive in water by wearing goggles whenever you go swimming.
9. Hat Hair - Wear a hat
Sunglasses obviously offer the most protection against harmful UV rays entering our eyes, a hat is added protection to your eyelids and your overall eye area from the harmful rays. So a hat is essential during the summer.
10. Keep your cool - Cooling eye Pack
After a day in the sunshine, it’s time to sit back, relax and cool down. A cooling eye pack is a summer essential, especially for hay fever sufferers – you can buy specialist packs that you keep in the fridge or freezer- or if you don’t have one of these cucumber slices work a treat. Just place a slice over each closed eye and sit back for 20 minutes and enjoy the cool.