With summer fast approaching, it’s always wise to take extra care of your eyes. At Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists Odessa, we often get patients coming in for an eye exam complaining of eye pain or blurred vision. While many factors can influence eye health, hot weather tends to be one that’s overlooked.
When it’s sunny, your eyes are exposed to UV radiation, which can cause both short and long-term damage to your eyesight. At the same time, the extra heat and humidity can lead to a host of other eye problems – such as dry eyes, infections, etc.
Keeping this in mind, here are five ways to prepare and take care of your eyes for summer from an experienced eye doctor:
As mentioned above, UV radiation can lead to eyesight problems. In the short term, UV rays may burn your eyes and cause temporary vision loss. This is rare, but it can happen.
The main problem is that constant exposure to UV radiation will damage the structure of your eyes. One study concluded that UV light damages lens proteins in a distinct way that’s typically seen in cataracts. Another study backs this up while adding that UV rays from the sun can lead to macular degeneration.
Effectively, the sun can speed up the process of developing cataracts or suffering from macular degeneration, both of which will lead to poor eyesight. The best solution is to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses. Always check the description of a pair of sunglasses to see if it has UV protection or not. Ideally, you want ones that say UV 400 as this blocks as close to 100% of the sun’s UV rays as possible.
Thus, you protect your eyes from suffering near irreparable damage.
Staring directly or indirectly at the sun will hurt your eyes. It can cause temporary blurred vision, but constantly doing this will lead to bigger issues. You put a strain on your eyes, meaning headaches are frequent – and your eyesight will gradually get worse over time.
Make a concerted effort to shade your eyes from the sun’s glare whenever possible. Wear a hat with a visor when outside, and pull your sun visor down when driving in the car.
Glare is also prominent when staring at a smartphone or tablet screen in the sun. You can buy anti-glare screen protectors for mobile devices, which act to prevent the sun from reflecting back in your face. Alternatively, avoid using your devices when in sunny areas and find some shade to avoid glare.
Thanks to the extra heat around you in summer, dry eyes are very common. While this may not seem like a huge issue, dry eyes can be problematic. If your eyes are dry, they start to feel very itchy. Sometimes, this can cause blurred vision, which may lead to accidents depending on what you’re doing.
Moreover, dry, itchy eyes tend to be rubbed. When this happens, you increase the chances of developing eye infections – like conjunctivitis.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water during the summer months. If you suffer from allergies, think about buying some eye drops to help with any dry eyes or irritation. Of course, always keep some hand sanitizer with you to kill any germs before you rub your eyes. Realistically, you should avoid rubbing them, but if you have to, ensure your hands are clean!
Talk to any eye doctor and they will tell you that diet is the most underrated thing you can focus on for eye health.
In the summer, you’re inclined to go out more, have some drinks, and maybe eat less healthily than usual. So, don’t forget to eat things that will be good for your eyes and your eyesight, this includes:
Leafy greens – things like spinach and kale are high in carotenoids, which are antioxidants linked to reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Carrots & sweet potatoes – both are high in beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A, an essential vitamin to aid your vision. Studies show that vitamin A deficiency leads to retinal diseases.
Nuts & seeds – these foods are high in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant to aid eye health. Research shows that it protects against damage from free radicals, which is very important considering your eyes are exposed to UV rays that cause free radical damage. It’s also noted that vitamin E can slow the progression of macular degeneration.
The single best thing you can do to take care of your eyes for summer is to book an eye exam with an eye doctor.
During your eye exam, your eye doctor will provide a comprehensive review of your eyesight and eye health. You’ll learn if there are any problems and what can be done to slow things down or prevent further issues from arising.
Without regular checkups, you will never know how healthy your eyes are. It’s important to know if you need things like glasses so they can prevent your eyesight from getting progressively worse with time. An eye doctor can also help you get prescription sunglasses with proper UV protection, just in time for the summer.
If you haven’t had an eye exam in the last twelve months, you should book one ASAP. Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists is located at Veterans Expressway and Suncoast Parkway (State Road 589), and we serve residents of Odessa and the surrounding communities.
Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with an experienced eye doctor. From here, you can take better care of your eyes, and get ready for summer!