When we think of the harsh summer sun, we tend to think skin protection—but what about our eyes? Summer is in full swing, which means long, sunny days, outdoor adventures, and excessive eye exposure to the sun. The time when UV exposure is said to be the greatest is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but instead of hiding inside during those hours, take advantage of these helpful tips and remember to protect your eyes all summer long.
1. Wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
Sunglasses protect our eyes from ultraviolet rays the same way sunscreen protects our skin. Even when you aren’t directly looking into the sun, its rays reflect off of surfaces around you—especially water. Make sure that you are always wearing sunglasses outdoors, and that your sunglasses protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
2. Wear a hat whenever you’re outdoors.
Sometimes wearing sunglasses isn’t enough. UV rays can reach your eyes from the sides or from above your sunglasses. If you aren’t a fan of the wrap-around design, make sure to wear a hat whenever you’re outside. Even this small tip can go a long way when it comes to your eyes.
3. Maintain A Healthy Diet.
According to Health.com, protecting your eyes starts with the food you put into your body. By eating leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, citrus and berries, eggs, and almonds, you can be sure you are ingesting enough nutrients to keep your eyes healthy. Eating foods that contain vitamin C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help fight against cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Wear protective eyewear when playing outdoor sports.
Summer is the time for fun and enjoying the outdoors, which usually means that more people are playing sports outside. Many sports-related eye injuries involve sports with smaller balls, like baseball, tennis, golf, etc. You can avoid these injuries by wearing sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses. These lenses have high durability that will protect you from impact.
5. Abstain from smoking.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, and the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Not only are smokers more likely to develop cataracts than those who do not smoke, but they are also more prone to developing cataracts at a younger age. By not taking the necessary steps to ensure we are protecting our eyes, we tend to take the gift of vision for granted. For more information about summer eye health, watch this Lifestyle Matters segment with Dr. Baudonnet!