Planning a beach vacation? Here’s how to protect your eyes from sun, sand and water

Since our eyes are at risk of developing eye-related allergies and infections, follow these eye care tips to keep your eyes safe and protected from this hot weather.
Eye care tips for summer
Your eyes need protection in summer. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Ajay Sharma Published: 23 May 2023, 08:59 am IST
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As the sun beats down with its intense rays during the summer months, the scorching heat and the allure of the great outdoors entice people to engage in various activities such as swimming, hiking and picnics. However, while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, it’s important to remember that spending more time outside during the summer months can be taxing on your eyes. Prolonged exposure to the sun, sand and water can result in ocular discomfort, including redness, itching and fatigue. So, to help you understand how to protect your eyes, here are some useful tips.

Tips to protect your eyes in summer

Here are some tips to protect your eyes from summer hazards.

1. Stay safe in the sun

Summertime presents a formidable adversary to your eye health, as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can have deleterious effects on your eyes. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation is linked to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, which can result in significant long-term eye damage. The key to safeguarding your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays is to invest in high-quality sunglasses that offer 100 per cent UV protection. Furthermore, sunglasses with polarized lenses can mitigate the glare emanating from reflective surfaces, making it easier to see and reducing eye strain. Also, keep yourself hydrated because dehydration can affect your eyes.

eye redness due to sun exposure
Sunlight can cause redness and irritation in your eyes. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Tips to protect eyes from sand

Partaking in outdoor activities, such as beach trips, can pose potential threats to your sight. Of particular concern is the presence of sand, which may constitute a major risk to your eyes. The abrasive nature of sand particles may cause surface-level injuries, resulting in discomfort, irritation, and potentially severe corneal abrasions or infections. Consequently, wearing protective eyewear, such as goggles or wraparound sunglasses, is of paramount importance to prevent sand from infiltrating your eyes. Moreover, you can also use eye drops to eliminate the pain and dryness.

3. Ways to keep eyes safe in water

Water-based activities, including swimming, entail a distinctive set of concerns for your vision. Chlorine, a commonly used disinfectant in swimming pools, can induce eye irritation and inflammation, manifesting as redness and discomfort. Similarly, saltwater of sea can have a similarly deleterious impact, potentially exacerbating ocular dryness. In order to shield your eyes during aquatic pursuits, the use of swim goggles is imperative. These specialized eyewear items not only guard against the aforementioned irritants and infections but also provide an added layer of protection from the sun’s UV radiation. Also, always use lubricating eye drops before and after swimming. It helps to reduce irritation.

Eye care tips during swimming
Take care of your eyes while swimming. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Other essential tips to keep your eyes safe in summer

In addition to wearing sunglasses and protective eyewear, there are additional measures you can take to safeguard your eyes during the summer season. Refraining from prolonged exposure to the sun during its peak hours, for instance, can mitigate the potential for UV radiation exposure, which can have negative impacts on the eyes. Staying hydrated also proves beneficial for ocular health. Additionally, practising good eye hygiene, such as refraining from touching or rubbing your eyes with unclean hands, can further mitigate the risk of infections or irritations.

Here’s when to seek medical help for your eye health

If you experience any discomfort or pain in your eyes, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention to prevent any potential long-term damage. Timely diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference in mitigating the severity of the condition and facilitating a speedy recovery. By delaying medical evaluation, the condition may worsen, leading to more severe symptoms and a more challenging course of treatment. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize your ocular health and seek prompt medical attention in the event of any eye-related discomfort or pain during the summer months.

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About the Author

Dr Ajay Sharma Chief Medical Director of EyeQ  ...Read More

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