A day at the beach and a swim in the warm Gulf waters have an appeal that Florida natives and visitors find hard to resist. While it seems that nothing can go wrong with an outing in the sun, surf, and sand, significant harm to skin and eyes can result from it. Neither better nor worse than swimming in pools or lakes, the beach requires special precautions that can provide protection and a safe experience.
It takes only one time of opening your eyes under saltwater to learn that it stings like crazy. While your tears may taste salty, they produce a soothing effect. The salt in the Gulf contains much more salt than your tears. The stinging occurs as it dries your eyes out.
Bacteria live in saltwater as well as freshwater, and the Gulf has a lot of it, especially during the red tide season in late summer and early fall. It almost always exists in the Gulf, but it gets worse when the water reaches its highest temperatures. It smells so bad that you do not want to go near it anyway.
Sunglasses help promote long-term eye health and assist in reducing the risk of serious issues. Squinting and sunburned eyes can result from forgetting to take eye protectors to the beach for a day as temporary conditions. However, failing to wear sunglasses routinely can produce consequences later in life. Exposure to the sun can cause macular degeneration and cataracts, both leading to the loss of vision. Large lenses and wraparound styles reduce glare and give added protection.
Inexpensive sunglasses do not have UV technology that can protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. The extremely dark sunglasses available online or at a drugstore can do more harm than you may think. Optically inferior to quality products, they can make your pupils dilate instead of constricting. As a result, your eyes allow more UV light to enter. Quality sunglasses may cost more, but they help preserve your vision.
Odessa, Cheval, and Trinity may have a few days when the sun does not shine, but it makes no difference in the importance of wearing sunglasses. Any venture outside requires you to wear them even though clouds may lessen the heat. While it may not seem possible, the sun’s UV rays can pass undiminished through thin clouds and haze even on sunless days.
The temptation to look directly at the sun while wearing sunglasses may seem hard to resist. However, it can damage your retina and cause permanent vision loss.
The stinging sensation that saltwater produces when you open your eyes can discourage you from swimming without goggles. Even though it has high salt content, the water in the Gulf of Mexico contains impurities that can cause swollen corneas and infections.
Swimming in saltwater while wearing contacts creates a risk of a grain of sand getting underneath. A corneal scratch can inflict significant discomfort, and an eye infection may occur. While goggles cannot provide the same level of specificity or precision of vision, they can prevent a corneal ulcer from creating a condition that threatens your vision.
The delicate skin around your eyes has less thickness than any other area on your face. With a high susceptibility to sun damage, it needs special care. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that an exceptionally high percentage of all skin cancers occur on the eyelid, giving you an idea of its risk for harm. The statistics place eyelid cancers at 10 percent or less of the total. Sunscreen can help prevent the condition from occurring.
Choosing the right sunscreen can make a difference in the protection you receive. A minimum SPF of 30 in a sunscreen containing zinc or titanium that treats your face and eyes and can provide an effective defense. In addition, it does not sting your eyes or damage sensitive skin.
Sunglasses may help prevent blowing sand to land in your eye. Aside from creating a painful situation, sand can scratch your cornea. Instead of rubbing it, find some clean water to flush it and blink a few times. Your contacts need to come out at that time. If it still feels irritated when you get home from the beach, a visit to Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists in Odessa can provide treatment that may prevent a corneal ulcer.
An active lifestyle in Odessa, Trinity, and Cheval encourages residents and visitors to enjoy a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The warm waters and high-salt content let you float and enjoy the experience. Proper preparation beforehand with an appointment with Dr. Christopher Tumolo at Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists can help you choose sunglasses that protect your eyes. His office in the Crossings Shopping Mall at 16230 FL-50 near the Suncoast Parkway provides easy access and plenty of parking space.