5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR EYES THIS SUMMER

1. Wear Sunglasses with Complete Ultraviolet Protection

Let’s start with the obvious one – sunglasses. You already know that you should protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and our eyes need similar protection. UVR comes from the sun and may also be reflected off surfaces such as water or sand.

The best way to protect your eyes from UVR exposure is to purchase and consistently wear sunglasses with 100-percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many inexpensive brands of sunglasses offer this protection, so you have a wide variety of choices. Remember to wear them even on cloudy days.

The Medical Details: Too much exposure to UVR can cause photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis (more commonly known as “snow blindness”) in the short-term. Continual UVR exposure, particularly exposure to UVB rays, may cause cataracts development, pterygium (a non-cancerous growth over the cornea) or skin cancer of the eyelids.

2. Use Goggles at the Pool

If you have not gone swimming in a few months, the first dip into the pool can feel awful on your eyes. The chlorine, designed to protect you from exposure to germs, has the potential to hurt your eyes.The simplest solution for protection is to wear goggles every time you go to swim in a pool. This also applies to swimming in the ocean or other natural bodies of water, as they contain other contaminants that may hurt your eyes.

The Medical Details: A 2008 study revealed that frequent exposure to chlorine negatively affects the integrity of your corneal epithelium. The epithelium provides a layer of protection to your cornea from irritants and pathogens. If that protection is compromised, you have an increased likelihood of corneal abrasion or other eye injuries.

3. Wash Hands and Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

Studies indicate that the best way to protect yourself from the spread of communicable disease is simply to wash your hands on a regular basis. This practice is crucial to avoid contracting eye-related conditions such as conjunctivitis. You often develop conjunctivitis after touching something that someone else has touched after they rubbed their eyes.

After any eye surgery such as LASIK, cataract surgery or glaucoma shunt surgery, your eyes are more susceptible to infection. The Centers for Disease Control suggests that you wash your hands thoroughly before you apply any treatments to your eyes, and avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible. When you have conjunctivitis, be sure to wash your hands after putting in eye drops or ointment, to avoid spreading the disease to others. When you come into Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center for professional eye care, you can rest assured that all specialists providing treatment or examination take your health and risk of infection very seriously.

4. Wear Hats

Even if you wear sunglasses every time you go outside, you are not offering complete UVR protection to your eyes and eyelids. Sunglasses usually have gaps along the sides where UVR exposure occurs. While you wear your sunglasses, minimize your risk and add a hat with a brim at least 3 inches wide. Consistent use of hats and sunglasses significantly decrease your UVR exposure.

The Medical Details: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a form of skin cancer that typically affects the eyelids, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. While it most commonly occurs on the lower eyelid, the site of most frequent exposure, it can also develop in the corners of the eye or under the eyebrows. While BCC does not usually spread to other parts of the body, it can certainly spread to the eye itself.

5. Protect Against Chemicals

While people are more likely to sustain chemical burns to their eyes while at work, there are several opportunities to hurt your eyes in non-occupational tasks, as well.

  • Hand or body soap bubbles that pop near your eyes
  • Spray paint that blows back into your face
  • Splashing cleaning solutions

These are all circumstances which can cause a chemical burn on your eyes; some more severe than others. You can prevent chemical exposure by taking appropriate precautions. Wear protective goggles or protective eyewear whenever you are working with any kind of toxic chemicals. Take care to handle solutions delicately, so that they do not splash.

The Medical Details: A 2013 analysis of chemical exposure claimed that eye-related chemical burns represent a serious ocular emergency that can ultimately cause serious damage or blindness. The CDC says 2,000 workers a day in the U.S. sustain an eye-related injury.

Source – www.goodeyes.com

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