The Summertime can be a great time to get outside and enjoy the sun, however there are many risks that can come to your eyes this summer from the higher levels of UV rays and heat in the summer. This blog post will cover what kind of potential dangers the sunlight and heat of the summer can bring to your eyes as well as measures you should take to keep yourself protected.
Can sunlight damage your eyes this summer?
The short answer is yes. Overexposure to UV light increases your risk of developing eye disorders and other issues. Make sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection to avoid the following conditions.
- Cataracts & Cancer: It can take years for cataracts and eye tumors to emerge. You increase your risk of serious disease every time you bask in the sun without using eye protection. For this reason, babies and children must wear caps and sunglasses. When out in the sun, people of all ages should take care of their eyes by wearing some (or multiple) form(s) of protection.
- Pterygium: Pterygium, or eye growths, might appear in our teens or early twenties. Surfers, skiers, fisherman, farmers, and others who spend lengthy periods of time in the sun during the day or near rivers, oceans, or mountains are at risk.
- Snow Blindness: After being exposed to UV reflections off of snow, ice, sand, or water, snow blindness, a kind of photokeratitis, can develop swiftly.
Symptoms of eye damage from sun
The effects of excessive sun exposure on your eyes take time to manifest. The risk is cumulative, meaning that the longer your eyes are exposed to UV rays from the sun, the more likely you are to develop the eye disorders listed above.
Symptoms can include:
- Eye redness or discomfort
- Blurry Vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Twitching of the eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
Can your eyes heal from sun damage?
Even though a minor condition like photokeratitis will go away quickly, the sun can cause long lasting and even permanent damage. Photokeratitis damages the cornea, but if you look at the sun for too long, or a solar eclipse, your retinas will become damaged. This is a much more serious issue and can lead to a decline in vision, and even blindness.
5 Ways the Summer Heat Can Harm Your Eyes
Photokeratitis is a condition similar to a sunburn, except the cornea is burned instead of the skin. It is caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun, lightning, welding equipment, and the sun reflecting off of snow, water, sand, or cement. Some symptoms include swelling, blurry vision, a gritty sensation in your eyes, pain, redness, and headaches. If you experience these symptoms, stay indoors in a darkened room, apply cold compresses, and take ibuprofen if you are experiencing discomfort. Photokeratitis will usually resolve itself within 48 hours, but if the symptoms persist, seeing an eye doctor is recommended.
- Eye Allergies
In the summer, your eyes become more sensitive due to increased temperatures and higher levels of air pollution. Eye allergies are characterized by red, itchy, and burning eyes. The symptoms usually go away on their own, but they can be rather unpleasant while they are present.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) can affect either one or both eyes. The eye becomes red, itchy, and watery as a result of the disorder. It can be passed from person to person by direct contact with an infected person.
- Dry Eyes
In the summer, more people develop dry eye syndrome as a result of the increased temperatures, which cause the tear film to evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes are more common in people who have previously experienced eye problems.
When the tiny glands that border the eyelid become clogged, a stye can form. Pus is frequently found in styes. On the inner region of the eyelid, a stye might develop. Styes are normally visible on the outside of the eyelid, although they can sometimes appear further inside. This ailment grows more potent and frequent in the summertime.
How to Protect Your Eyes This Summer
Now that we’ve looked at how the sunlight with extra high levels of UV can be a potential risks to your eyes let’s look at potential ways you can keep your eyes away from these harms
Shielding eyes from sun
In order to prevent damage and vision loss, it is important to protect your eyes from the sun as much as possible. Try to stay in the shade or wear sunglasses or a hat to shade your eyes at all times. We offer prescriptions for sunglasses at Eyes Now that can help glasses wearers protect their eyes from the sun, without compromising their vision.
Keep your young ones protected
Children’s eyes are valuable and must be preserved, but they are frequently disregarded. As a result, children are more likely to be exposed to the sun and suffer solar damage. Their eyes aren’t fully grown when they’re young. When combined with a lack of protection, children may develop eye disorders later in life. To keep your children safe, keep track of how much time they spend outside and question them about their eyes every time you stop to apply sunscreen. Sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and shade breaks are all excellent strategies to protect your eyes from the sun.
Practice Healthy Habits
Begin early to develop effective eye protection habits. Eye protection should not be an afterthought, and the only way to begin is to shield your eyes consciously. Work with your children to make them excited to put on their sunglasses and hats. Educate children on the importance of proper skincare and eye care so that they can develop healthy habits as adults. Also, make sure you’re putting those excellent habits into action!
Schedule Regular Eye Appointments
If you wear prescription lenses an annual eye appointment is always important to make sure your prescription is up to date.
Even if you don’t wear or need corrective lenses, it’s always a good idea to see an eye doctor, especially if you have children. A visit every three years for children and every four to five years for adults can help you detect any developing long-term vision issue