According to the survey conducted by the American Optometric Association, people value eyesight more than the ability to walk or their memory. Needless to say, the twenty-first century challenges our eyes more than ever – a lot of people spend hours in front of the screens. In turn, it leads to irritation, dryness, and blurry vision.
During the summer, you should especially take care of your eyes. There are a lot of damaging effects of excessive exposure to UV light, both long and short-term, according to the Eyecare Trust. That’s what you can do in order to protect your eyes this summer and enjoy your vacation to the fullest:
Investing in a pair of sunglasses with complete ultraviolet protection is a must. High exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to conjunctivitis (aka snow blindness) or photokeratitis in the short-term. Doctors warn that continual exposure can also lead to pterygium, cataracts, and even eyelid cancer.
The American Optometric Association recommend to buy sunglasses that contain grey lenses for colour recognition, and that can block around 80% of visible light such as Oakley eyewear for protection.
You should start using goggles every time you go to the swimming pool. Chlorine in the water is supposed to protect you from disease-causing germs. In practice, it also has the potential to hurt your eyes. A 2008 study revealed that prolonged exposure to chlorine could negatively affect the integrity of corneal epithelium and lead to corneal abrasion and other eye injuries.
Doctors recommend wearing goggles while swimming in the oceans, rivers, and lakes as well. They may also contain natural contaminants that can hurt your eyes.
Before you touch your eyes, make sure to wash your hands first. Several studies indicate that it is the easiest way to avoid the spreading of communicable disease. Let’s not forget that touching eyes with dirty hands usually causes conjunctivitis. Also, make sure to wash your hands before applying treatment to your eyes (e.g. ointment and eye drops).
Use eye drops
If you have any eye problems during the summer, make sure to use eye drops. It can help you minimize the pain, especially if you are going through glaucoma surgery recovery. If you feel a slight discomfort, make an appointment with a qualified ophthalmologist.
Improve your diet
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, diet directly affects eyesight. Certain foods can help you prevent the development of long-term vision problems and even improve your eyesight.
To solve age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, fill your plate with salmon, tuna, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, pork, nuts, and non-meat protein sources.
Also, make sure to drink plenty of water during the summer. Dehydration may lead to dry eye symptoms (e.g., redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision). Drinking cold water can help provide fluid for normal eye function.
Wear a hat
Even an expensive pair of sunglasses can’t offer you complete UV protection to your eyelids and eyes. That’s why it is recommended to wear a hat during the summer. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts and blurry vision. Also, it increases the risk of eye tumours.
Get enough sleep
A lot of people usually sleep less in summer. Even though summer days are the best, you should make sure you get enough sleep. According to the study, eyes need at least five hours of sleep in order to replenish properly. Sleep deprivation can cause dry eye and lead to itching, blurred vision, pain, and light sensitivity. If you didn’t have the chance to sleep at night, take a nap during the day.
Relax your eyes
As stated above, exposure to computer screens can make your eyes get strained and sore. In order to relax your eyes, wash them with cold water and try to do some exercises. For instance, you can rub your eyes while they are closed, roll them, blink, and look to the corners of the room.
Also, consider limiting screen time. If you have to work on your computer for a long time, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes look at the item at least twenty feet away for about twenty seconds.
The bottom line
Keep in mind, you shouldn’t take your eyes for granted. To prevent different eye problems during the summer, wear sunglasses and a hat, use eye drops, and consult a qualified ophthalmologist before going on vacation. Also, consider making some lifestyle changes. Improve your diet, drink plenty of water, and limit your screen time. Getting enough sleep can also help you relieve dry eye syndrome.
If you follow these simple rules, you will be able to forget about your eye problems and enjoy your vacation to the fullest!