As summer brings longer days and more sunshine, you’ll undoubtedly be spending more time outdoors. We’re accustomed to wearing sunscreen and staying as hydrated as possible, but it’s crucial to also be aware of how to protect your eyes from the sun.
Take a look at our optometrist’s top family eyecare tips on how to best achieve this for summer below.
Sunlight has many beneficial properties but can also cause serious, physical damage. Sunburn doesn’t just occur on the skin, but also the eyes. After intense exposure, you might experience a temporary condition called photokeratitis, which is essentially like having sunburnt eyes. It’s extremely painful and is best avoided by wearing a pair of high-quality sunglasses.
This limits UV exposure to your cornea. Wearing sunglasses also protects UV rays from reaching the back of your eyes, helping to reduce your risk of developing cataracts and macular generation later in life, as cumulative damage can occur over the years otherwise. Remember that children need protecting too as their eyes are more vulnerable and absorb even more UV light than adults.
We have a fabulous range of sunglasses that have been carefully handpicked for both adults and children, with emphasis on high quality materials and design, as well as our state of the art measuring device – the Visioffice X - to custom fit the best sunglass lenses for your individual needs.
While sunglasses offer some of the best protection, they can’t always provide coverage at every angle. Wearing a hat with a brim wide enough to shade your eyes can help with this. The skin around your eyes is sensitive too and susceptible to skin cancer, so you’ll appreciate the extra care a hat provides in addition to sunglasses in the long run.
Water and Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are a convenient and comfortable alternative to glasses, especially if you’re holidaying. However, when around water (e.g., showers, swimming pools, the sea) and humid environments like saunas and hot tubs, we do recommend you remove them first or wear adequate protection like swimming goggles or sunglasses over them. If not, you run the risk of potential infection developing.
Use Eye Drops
Hot and dry weather can cause your eyes to become irritated, red, and sore. You can help mitigate this by using eye drops as recommended by our optometrist, Sachin. It’s important to ask us for advice about using eye drops to ensure they are compatible with your visual and lifestyle needs - for example, if you wear contact lenses you will need preservative free drops to avoid irritation.
Protect Your Eyewear
Holidays can mean being exposed to sea salt, sand and sweat if the weather’s hot – all of which can make direct contact with your eyewear. We strongly advise taking your glasses and sunglasses cases as well as a cleaning cloth and spray wherever you go.
It’s important to keep your eyewear clean, not just to see all the sights, but to avoid scratches. Even non-visible ones can damage your lenses, and smudges on your lenses from sweat can obscure your vision to an extent.
Keeping up to date with your routine eye exams allows potential vision correction and eye health issues to be spotted earlier. This goes for you as parents, and for your children, as you may not realise something is wrong until you see our optometrist. We fully support family eyecare and can adapt our eye exams towards your child’s needs, whether they can read yet, or not.
We hope these tips have helped you - feel free to get in touch for further advice, to book an eye exam, or a complimentary frame styling consultation for a new pair of sunglasses at our friendly opticians practice in Cobham.