When the summer months roll around, many of us have only one thing on our minds: soaking up the sun. But while the extra boost of Vitamin D may help your mood, the sun’s powerful rays can also do their fair share of damage.
Many people think that lathering on some sunscreen will do the trick to keep them healthy, but what about keeping the eyes healthy while having some outdoor fun? There may not be a vision sunscreen, but there are several things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and sparkling in the summer.
Buy Good Sunglasses
While the economy’s current condition may make it tempting to shield your eyes with a $5 pair of glasses from Joe’s Beach Shack, resist the urge. Failing to protect your eyes now will surely be a much more costly decision in the future, so it’s worth it to splurge a little bit on a pair of shades. Choose a pair of sunglasses that has UVA and UVB protection. Excessive exposure of the eyes to ultraviolet radiation can contribute to eye disease in the future. The FDA recommends that individuals look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation.
It’s also helpful to choose a polarized pair of glasses, these sunglasses significantly reduce glare and prevent you from squinted while outside. Not only does this preserve your vision health, but it can keep you looking younger and more refreshed as wrinkles around the eyes are kept at bay.
Finally, make sure you actually wear your sunglasses, even if you’re only stepping out momentarily. Many of us underestimate the power that the sun has and the damage that it can do in a short period of time. Step out for 5 or 10 minutes a day without any eye protection, especially in the summer months, can contribute to vision problems.
It’s important to never put sunscreen, or other types of lotions for that matter, in your eye, as this can lead to irritation or permanent damage. However, applying a lightweight sunscreen around the eyes, particularly directly under the eyes and near the corners, can help you prevent the onset of wrinkles. Excessive sun exposure and any kind of sun damage weaken the skin – particularly the sensitive skin near the eyes. Apply a dab of sunscreen in this area daily – rain or shine – to ensure you look youthful and refreshed for years to come.
Editor’s note – we recommend the Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream with spf 32 for protecting the delicate skin of the eye area – this product, (pictured above), is available from Amazon – visit the product page for more information by clicking on the image.
Take Precaution During Outdoor Projects
The summer is a time when families often get to work on landscaping and other outdoor projects. However, it is also a time when allergens are at their peak. Be sure to wear protective eyewear such as professional goggles while performing tasks like mowing the lawn or gardening.
Beware of Chlorine
It’s not just the sun that can do damage in the summertime. Chlorine is a contributor to eye irritation and can temporarily dry out the eyes. If you own a pool, be sure to keep chlorine levels balanced. And if you’re simply diving in for a swim, carry some eye drops with you to lubricate the eyes post-dip. Finally, refrain from rubbing the eyes after going under water. Not only can this lead to wrinkles, but touching the eyes puts you at a greater risk for infection or irritation.
Summer is a time for family fun in the sun, but as with all activities, safety should come first. Follow the tips above to ensure that you look, feel and see your best for years to come