The Doctor Says
Hudson Headwaters Health Network
As you slather on sunscreen to defend your skin this summer, don’t forget to protect your eyes. Along with the summer sun come hidden dangers such as UV damage to both our skin and eyes. Just like UV damage to skin can cause cancer, UV damage to eyes can also be extremely harmful and is responsible for causing cataracts, macular degeneration, pinguecula, pterygia and photokeratitis.
Summer is a great time to plan vacation and outdoor activities. Before you begin preparation for how you and the family will spend the sunny days ahead, here is a list of 10 great summer eye care tips to help safeguard your eyes and maintain healthy sight – not just this summer but for a lifetime.
Buy sunglasses with UV protection:
Make sure your sunglasses offer 100% UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful UV damage. You will find that all sunglasses from the designer brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada and Oakley will offer UV protection as standard.
Wear sunglasses even when cloudy:
Even if our summer days are suffering from significant cloud cover, you should always remember to wear your sunglasses since UV damage can still occur even when it’s cloudy.
Wear larger style sunglasses:
Larger style sunglasses offer more eye coverage than sunglasses with smaller lenses ensuring better protection from the sun. Sunglasses such as shield or wrap around style are great at limiting the amount of sun that can enter your eyes from around the edges, providing the fit is good.
Choose sunglasses with polarized lenses:
Polarized sunglasses are great at reducing glare from reflective surfaces such as water or wet surfaces, making them perfect for sporting activities or driving. Normal tinted or graduated sunglasses, while offering UV protection, will still leave you squinting and in some discomfort during these harsh conditions.
Choose sunglasses with photochromic lenses:
Sunglasses with photochromic or transition lenses darken on exposure to UV light making them great for both low and bright light conditions – perfect for both indoor and outdoor use!
Maintain your glasses:
Your sunglasses should always be well protected when not in use, and maintained to ensure they are kept free from frame damage, dirt and scratches. This will ensure that your sunglasses last longer and are more comfortable to wear. Scratched or dirty lenses can cause discomfort as you are likely to notice blurry patches in front of your eyes instead of clear vision which can cause eye strain. If your lenses do become badly scratched, they can be reglazed for a small fee depending on your requirements.
Buy prescription sunglasses:
If you have a prescription, we highly recommend choosing a pair of designer sunglasses suitable for prescription lenses such as the Ray-Ban 3025 Aviator or the 2140 Wayfarer. The lenses can then be changed to new lenses with your personal prescription and choice of tint. This is great for clear vision throughout the summer.
Keep a spare pair:
We recommend that you always have a spare pair of sunglasses handy just in case you lose or break your favorite pair. This will ensure you always have protection from the sun in times of emergency.
The recommendation is to drink 2 quarts of water every day to prevent dehydration-more if it’s hot or you are doing exercise. While drinking plenty will help prevent headaches and dry skin caused by dehydration, it will also help to keep your eyes from drying out and feeling tired.
Avoid the midday sun:
We recommend, when possible, avoiding the midday (11am – 3pm) sun-when the sun is at its strongest, and the highest levels of UV damage occur. If you do venture out at this time of day, always ensure that you wear sunscreen, a hat and your sunglasses.