Hello, summer. 🌞 San Jose is well known for its temperate climate any time of the year, but summer in San Jose is just the besssssst. Coastal breezes, sunny days. It’s the perfect place to call home.
This time of year has most people shopping for sunscreen and pool floaties but what can you do to protect your eyes? Lots! As you prepare for summertime fun in the outdoors, don’t forget a game plan that keeps your eyes healthy and safe.
Check out our four summer eye care tips to protect your sight:
Shades 😎 When considering how to protect your eyes from the sun, choose sunglasses with complete UV or ultraviolet protection. Look for lenses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. Polarized sunglasses can reduce glare, which is especially helpful if you’re spending a lot of time on the water, in the sand or on the golf course (or in the sand on the golf course).
According to our eye experts at Eye Medical Clinic, more is better when it comes to blocking out the sun. Use a combination of high-quality sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat that can cut down on sunlight. Wrap-around sunglasses perform best. Choose lenses large enough to completely cover your eyes to prevent as much light as possible from entering through the edges of the glasses. Remember to wear sunglasses on cloudy days, too!
You certainly don’t want to be blinded by the light that shines off the water, sand or other highly reflective surfaces. Too much exposure can cause UV eye damage in the form of a painful condition called photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis. This is when the sun’s UV rays burn the surface of your eye. Continuous UV exposure may contribute to cataract development or cause the development of pterygium (a benign growth over the cornea).
Goggles 🏊 We advise you (and your kiddos) to wear goggles at the pool. Chemicals used to keep pool water clean, such as chlorine, can affect the natural tear film that keeps eyes moist and healthy. The results are red, gritty eyes and even blurry vision. So goggles are a good idea. Also, splash your eyes with fresh water immediately after getting out of the pool.
Avoid Dry Eye 😢 A dry, hot or windy climate can irritate your eyes when outside and cause Dry Eye symptoms. Dry Eye affects the tear film, drying out the eye’s surface. Wrap-around sunglasses can be helpful when outside. Also, consider using artificial tears to keep eyes moist and refreshed.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with chronic Dry Eye. Here at Eye Medical Clinic, we offer several treatments for Dry Eye including a scleral lens to treat moderate to severe dry eye. A scleral lens (special hard contact lens) holds a reservoir of tears next to the cornea, reducing many dry eye symptoms, decreasing the need for artificial tears and improving visual acuity.
Your Eye Medical Clinic Dry Eye specialist will perform diagnostic testing – including ocular allergy testing – that will pinpoint the source of your symptoms. Thorough testing will help us determine the best course of treatment for you.
Hydration and Healthy Foods 💧🍎 It’s not just carrots that keep your eyes healthy. Be sure and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. This is made easier in the summer months when fresh fruit and veg are in season and can be added to almost any meal! Think summer salads, grilled veggie kabobs and fruity desserts. Adding foods high in Vitamin A, C and E boost vision health, so get your fair share of these essential nutrients.
People also tend to become more dehydrated in the summer, leading to Dry Eye and other vision problems. So…drink water, water and more water! Downing plenty of water can prevent the adverse effects of dehydration, reduce eye strain as well as provide fluid for normal eye function.
Bring on the sunshine, San Jose! We’re ready.
Make your eye care a priority. Summer is a great time to have your regular eye exam, especially for kids who are out of school. We at Eye Medical Clinic advise regular eye exams for patients of all ages as part of your overall approach to health. If you have any immediate concerns about summer eye care or general eye care, contact our experts at Eye Medical Clinic.