Summertime eyecare

Jun 25, 2013

As the temperature rises and the days grow longer our thoughts begin to revolve around fun in the sun and upcoming summertime vacations.  Whether your plans include the beach, the lake, the mountains, or the backyard, don't forget to take care of your eyes.
Proper eyewear
As your time outside increases, proper eyewear is essential to making the most of your summer activities.  Increased time outdoors leads to increased ultraviolet light exposure, which can cause premature aging of the eyes. Just as sunblock and wide-brim hats protect you when you are outside, sunglasses with UV protection can protect against this damaging light. 
Additionally, polarized lenses help to eliminate harsh glare from sunlight. These are a great option for driving or spending time by the water.  Safety glasses are a must whenever you do any household work involving power or hand tools, or where dust or dirt may get into the eyes. These glasses are typically made of impact-resistant polycarbonate.
Contact lens wearers
Water sports are a relaxing and great way to cool off in the summer heat.  However, contact lens users should be cautious. Swimming with contact lenses should be avoided, as water may contain viruses and microbes which can cause serious infections. Swimming goggles provide a safer alternative to swimming in contacts.
Contact lenses that block UV light are a great option in addition to sunglasses.  Contact lens wearers should always wash their hands before handling lenses. They should also be careful to avoid getting sunscreen in their eyes by using waterproof sunscreen.
Fabulous 4th  
The 4th of July is a classic American holidayjust make sure your holiday memories don't include a visit to the emergency room! Fireworks are a big part of the festivities.  On average though, about 2,000 individuals suffer eye injuries each year in the U.S. on this holiday.  Eye injuries can vary from abrasions, cuts, and burns, to retinal detachment and even blindness.
Several simple tips for a safe and fun July 4th of July celebration include: 
·        Don't let children play with fireworks.
·        Watch fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
·        Don't handle unexploded fireworks.
·        Use safety goggles if you're lighting your own fireworks.
·        Leave it to the professionals and watch a professional pyrotechnic extravaganza!

-- John Barron, O.D.