Written by: Tami, Published: 23 July 2019
With temperatures set to soar up to around 34-36C, the team at UL HQ were keen to look at the ways in which you can protect your eyes from the sun during the heatwave. There is a lot of talk about ensuring that you get that sun-screen on every few hours, but what about your eyes?Whether you are considering eye surgery, or are post-treatment, the protection of your eyes is of the utmost importance and there are a couple of things to remember, particularly when you are exposed to sunlight.
It is entirely possible for sunlight to reflect off the sea, sand or many other surfaces. This can result in a condition called photokeratitis (to put it simply; UV rays burning the surface of the eye). It is extremely painful and you may experience discomfort, redness, and blurriness with potential temporary vision loss.This, of course, is an extreme case of what could happen, but it is still vital to protect your vision at all costs. So what your options? Take a look below:
As we mentioned, the sun is reflected off various surfaces and it's important to wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVR rays. There is a common misconception that only high-end brands offer this, but many high-street shops sell sunglasses that protect against UV rays, so there is no excuse! Have you ever made the mistake of sitting out on a cloudy day and burning to a crisp? It's the same for your vision; although you might think that it's safe to avoid sunglasses on cloudy days, it's still worth knowing that you should maintain wearing them to protect your eyes. Continued exposure to UVR rays can result in the development of cataracts or possibly, pterygium (which is a non-cancerous growth over the cornea).
To ensure complete protection from sun rays, wear a hat with a fairly wide brim to cover the sides and gaps presented by sunglasses. This will minimise the risk of sun damage to your eyes significantly.
Did you know that the chlorine in pools could be quite damaging to your eyes? It is said that the chlorine can affect the quality of the corneal epithelium, which is a layer of protection from irritants for the cornea. If this is compromised, you are likely to suffer from a corneal abrasion or other more severe eye injuries. Albeit good at protecting you from germs, which applies to the ocean too, contaminants can really affect your vision. To avoid any risks, it's best to wear goggles in the pool or the sea when you are swimming.
In the height of summer, you are more likely to become dehydrated, which can have a major effect on your eyes. Did you know that severe dehydration can affect your ability to produce tears? This may lead to issues with dry eyes and potentially other problems with your vision. This is why it's incredibly important to drink plenty of water on a daily basis, which can easily make such a difference to the negative effects of dehydration.
Whether you work outside or you are carrying out an activity, protection for your eyes is important. Dust or sand in the eye can very uncomfortable, and exposure to chemicals can pose a serious risk to your eyes. Although most corneal injuries heal within a couple of days, there are some instances where long-term injury could be a possibility. Protective glasses alongside other equipment are vital in protecting not just your face, but your whole body to potential risks.