In summer, the sun and the heat are the omnipresent protagonists in summer. Many are already aware to take care of skin in the sun with creams and protective clothing. However, sometimes we forget that the eyes are so delicate more than our skin. Therefore, we must protect them from excess solar radiation. An abuse in sun exposure can produce harmful effects on the eyes such as keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), pterygium and pinguecula, which are benign abnormal growths of the conjunctiva. In the most severe cases, may favor the appearance of cataracts or, even, accelerate Macular Degeneration Associated with Age.
However, not only the powerful sunlight and its adverse effects should concern us, but there are other factors that can affect us, either by causing excessive environmental dryness and therefore ocular, as by exposure to aggressive agents or infections viral or bacterial. Taking the necessary precautions in each case is essential to avoid suffering a possible injury. Below, explain summer eye care tips to take care of your eyes.
1. Limit direct sun exposure
In summer, the sun is closer and the day is longer. So it significantly increases the power of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There are three types of ultraviolet radiation: A (UVA), B (UVB) and C (UVC). Under normal conditions, UVC rays and most of the UVB are blocked by atmospheric ozone. Only a small fraction of UVB rays and UVA rays reach us, which can be highly harmful to our health. Specifically, to our eyes. In summer times, the most dangerous months are averagely May to July. Which we should aware to protect ourselves between 11 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. In addition, we must bear in mind that the negative effects increase when we are on the mountain or by the sea. Since surfaces such as water, sand and snow, increase the radiation when reflected.
2. Wear appropriate sunglasses
Sunglasses should have at least two types of filters. The one that blocks the ultraviolet rays is the most important among the two. That block radiation by 100%. We can appreciate an invisible filter. When we buy glasses, we have no idea whether the filter is there or not. For that, we should always wear glasses that come from trusted manufacturers. The ultraviolet filter is not only include to sunglasses, but it is also usually use into normal vision glasses too. The other types of filter only blocks the visible light that makes the glasses more or less dark. The quality standards (ISO 8980-3) qualify the glasses in categories from 0 to 4 depending on the amount of light blocked. The most used sunglasses are those of category 3, which block between 80 and 90% of visible light.
You have to bear in mind that using sunglasses of poor quality is almost worse than not using them. As example, very often, we wear very dark glasses, with a high blocking of visible light and that do not filter a bad ultraviolet ray. At that time our pupil dilated more (by blocking visible light) and without the protection of the ultraviolet filter, so the possibility of damage to our eyes will increase. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the glasses that we acquire or use are duly certified with the community seal and the reference of the European standard (UNE EN 1836).
3. Do not abuse air conditioners
The cold air of the conditioners is extremely dry. If we spend a lot of time in there, we will noticing the dryness in the eyes. Which will irritate us and may end up of rubbing eyes, irritating them more and starting the path to conjunctivitis. Therefore, it is advisable to limit its use. If the temperature is very rough, mitigate its side effects by humidifiers or by applying ophthalmological lubricants.
4. Use protective goggles
The high summer temperatures unconditionally invite you to cool off in the pools. However, the chemical substances that are used to sanitize the water cause the irritative, viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, especially in the middle of summer. When the influx is massive and contamination must be prevented. Red eyes, stinging, foreign body sensation, lacrimation or hypersensitivity to light are some of the symptoms that alert of the presence of these ocular infections. To avoid it the best thing is not to share the towels, not to use the wet towels that have spent a time on the ground or grass. Above all, we should use swimmer's goggles, which will ensure us the proper protection.
The same thing we have to do when we perform sports activities such as playing tennis, football or basketball, where there is a risk of suffering a blow or a nudge. It is difficult to ask children to moderate, but if we are intense practitioners, we can avoid possible accidents. We can also use some type of protective lens too.
5. Extend the care if you have a previous visual problem
All these circumstances would be better if we also suffer from some visual problem. For example, people who have to use contact lenses should take better care of the hygienic measures to avoid possible infections and not to bathe in the sea or in the pool never with them on. In fact, there are progressive glasses for swimming that can be useful in these cases.
Something similar happens with people who wear prescribed glasses because when they are forced to change them for sunglasses they end up choosing not to use sunscreens, with the consequent risk.
One possible solution is to acquire a pair of prescription sunglasses. However, another solution is to use contact lenses order to reduce the dependence of glasses and enjoy the summer. Laser refractive surgery is undoubtedly a good option if we want to correct visual problems such as myopia, hyperopia and / or astigmatism, although there are other surgical alternatives such as implanting an intraocular lens. In any case, it is advisable to go to professionals who perform an ophthalmological study to decide which procedure is the most appropriate for each case.