June 24th, 2014
After the winter we had this year, most of us are jubilant that summer is finally here and we can enjoy the warm weather. However, being outdoors presents some special challenges for our eyes. Here are five tips:
1. WEAR SUN PROTECTION FOR YOUR EYES:
Just as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, eyes need to be protected from the sun’s rays, too. Too much ultraviolet light can accelerate the formation of cataracts or burn the delicate skin and tissues around your eyes and eyelids. Sunglasses, sun visors, and hats can offer protection to your eyes. Even if you wear contacts, invest in a good pair of sunglasses. When you are enjoying activities like boating, biking, or amusement parks where there is prolonged sun exposure, consider wearing both sunglasses and a hat or visor.
2. WEAR PROPER EYE PROTECTION WHEN DOING DIY OR GARDENING:
Corneal lacerations are not uncommon and can need surgery. Whether you enjoy activities like gardening, carpentry, sawing or chopping wood, and mowing grass, always consider eye protection. Flying debris and loose soil from your summertime activities can damage your eyes. Sunglasses or eyeglasses do not offer enough protection. Invest in professional quality goggles from a DIY, garden, or builders’ supply store.
3. PROTECT YOUR EYES DURING SPORTS:
Ah, summer! Golf, tennis, badminton, baseball, football, and Frisbee among other summertime sports means an increased opportunity for eye trauma. Always protect your eyes with the appropriate eye goggles for the activity you enjoy. Don’t forget the water sports! Boating, fishing, jet-skiing, and water-skiing provide opportunities for eye injuries, too. Generally, it’s best not to wear contact lenses when swimming. Soft lenses may well up and stick to the eye because of different concentrations of salt and minerals within the fluid inside the lens and in the pool water. In sea water, they may flatten out and also get lost. Most sporting goods stores sell plastic, molded shields or masks appropriate for different sports.
4. PROTECT AGAINST CHEMICALS:
We use chemicals to treat pool water, protect against insects, and feed our lawns, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Improper use or accidental exposure of these chemicals to your eyes could lead to serious eye burns and injuries. Whether you are using fertilizers or insecticides on your lawn or gardens, or applying insect repellent or sunscreen lotion to your skin, be vigilant against getting chemicals in your eyes. Plants like poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak may also be serious eye irritants or cause injury. If your eyes sting when you have been swimming in a pool, usually rinsing your eyes with fresh, clean water or artificial tear drops can bring your eyes some soothing relief. More serious chemical exposure may require a trip to the emergency room. If you experience chemical exposure to your eyes, please call our office or go to an emergency room for treatment.
5. EXPECT AND PROTECT AGAINST THE UNEXPECTED:
Summer provides us with so many opportunities for fun and adventure, and with it many opportunities for eye injury. Fireworks are better left to professionals. Barbecuing, grilling, bicycling, skateboarding, fishing, boating, car maintenance, even walking and jogging brings with them the potential for eye injury.
Enjoy your summer because the snow is five short months away! However be vigilant and always remember to protect your eyes.