Although things feel different due to the coronavirus pandemic, summer is still headed our way! It won’t be long before you’re spending more time outdoors in the sun, grilling in the backyard, swimming in the pool and riding bikes along the New York or New Jersey coasts. Either way, you’ll want to protect your eyes, just as you do your skin.
Below are some helpful reminders on how to protect your peepers during the warm East Coast summer.
Wear sunglasses with ultraviolet light protection.
Purchase several pairs of sunglasses so that you have them on hand for summer. Make sure they offer complete protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Many inexpensive brands of sunglasses offer this protection, so don’t think you need to spend a lot of money. Too much UV exposure can lead to cataracts, pterygium (non-cancerous growth over the cornea) or skin cancer of the eyelids.
Wash your hands often, and avoid rubbing the eyes.
Coronavirus is changing the way we live, so you’re probably used to washing your hands more often than usual. Keep this up, as it’s one of the best ways to protect your health. When you’re outdoors in the sun, avoid rubbing the eyes as well. Not only does this prevent the spread of communicable diseases, but also it keeps particles like sand, dirt, bubbles and unsanitary water out of the eyes.
Wear the proper eye protection when playing sports.
Whether you plan on skateboarding, cycling or joining a basketball league, you should always wear the proper eye protection. Even certain types of yardwork can raise the risk of getting a corneal abrasion. When choosing the proper sports goggles, look for those that are labeled as ASTM F803, as this type of eyewear is tested to offer the highest level of protection.
Use eyedrops to manage allergy symptoms.
If your eye doctor has diagnosed you with ocular allergies, ask them about the best eye drops to use. Antihistamine eye drops are sold over the counter and offer fast relief from symptoms like itchiness, redness and dryness. If you need something stronger or are concerned about drying your eyes out, ask your eye specialist about a prescription medication instead.
Stay in the shade.
If you plan on spending the whole day in the sun, be sure that you have some shade available. Use a tree, umbrella or tent to keep the sun out of your eyes, especially during peak times between 10am-2pm. If you’re not in an area with a lot of shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat instead. This will protect your eyes and your face, scalp, ears and neck at the same time.
With summer just around the corner, it’s important to start planning for longer days in the sun. By following the tips above, you can maintain good eye health, prevent long-term damage and avoid unexpected trips to the eye doctor.