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The summer can take it’s toll on our eyes, so here are some tips on how to protect your eyes during the summertime, so you can make the most of it!
A good pair of sunglasses is a must. Exposure to UV light has been shown to cause many eye disorders, including cataracts, macular degeneration and eyelid cancers. Look for sunglasses which are CE marked and offer 100% UV protection. Polarised lenses provide added protection from glare reflected from surfaces such as water, concrete or glass.
Hayfever is affecting more people every year, and as any sufferer knows it can make the summer months pretty miserable. Common symptoms are itchy, red and sore eyes, and a blocked or runny nose. Anti-histamine tablets can help, and if your eyes are affected there are several eye drops available which are effective at reducing or eliminating the symptoms (if you wear contact lenses, check that the drops are suitable for use with your lenses). Wearing sunglasses can help as they act as a barrier and reduce the amount of pollen or allergens reaching your eyes.
Dry eyes can also be a problem at this time of year, and can make your eyes feel gritty or sore, especially if you wear contact lenses. There are a number of possible causes, but in the summer months being in air-conditioned environments, or dehydration can be major factors. However there are things you can do to make your eyes more comfortable. Firstly, an obvious one, make sure you drink plenty of water – we all know we should but in reality it’s often neglected! Artificial tears can help quite a lot, and a wide range of these eye drops are available at pharmacies (again contact lens wearers should check they are suitable for lens wearers).
Going on holiday is the best part of the summer for most people, but it can be a tricky time for contact lens wearers. It’s often a hassle to remember to take enough pairs of daily lenses, or cleaning solutions for monthly lenses, as well as prescription and non-prescription sunglasses, and glasses. As a result, people can take risks with their lenses which they would never normally take. Things you should never do include: re-wearing your daily lenses, using tap water to clean, store or rinse your lenses (you should only use the appropriate solution for your lenses), falling asleep in your lenses (unless they are extended wear), wearing your lenses in the swimming pool. Your contact lens optician will have given you advice on how to safely wear your lenses.
Hopefully these tips will prove helpful – enjoy your summer!