Taking proper care of your eyes is vital, and it’s important to be aware of the hazards that can affect good vision during each season of the year. Here are some essential eye-care tips to keep in mind.
Mellins i-Style, a leading chain of optometrists, has the following tips and information to help you maintain excellent vision this summer. Too much UV exposure increases your risk of eye diseases, and it goes without saying how important it is to invest in the right sunglasses.
1. Tips for choosing a pair of sunglasses
- UV light protection: Look for sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Yellow filter: Also called blue blockers because they block all blue light, these lenses make the eye perceive its surrounds in a yellowish tint. This provides better contrast for very distant objects, especially on a cloudy day.
- Polarised lenses: These lenses block diffused light, such as sunlight reflected off water surfaces or the pavement. They are particularly useful for driving and water activities as they reduce glare.
- Mirror lenses reduce the quantity of light reaching the eye, but don’t offer any protection from UV radiation.
- Side protection: Sunglasses with this feature protect the eyes from light entering from the sides.
- Gradient tint lenses are dark in the upper part and light at the bottom. This allows them to block the glare from above, but enable normal downward vision. They’re useful for drivers, but are not recommended for the beach because a strong glare can enter from below.
- Photochromatic lenses darken automatically when it’s bright and lighten when it’s dark. Depending on the UV radiation and the temperature, the change in tint can be very quick.
- Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side.
- Contact lenses: Some contact lenses offer UV protection, but wearing sunglasses can ensure additional protection.
2. Tips to take extra care during summer
Too much exposure to sunlight can harm your eyes in various ways. Taking proper care of your eyes (and your kids’ eyes) during the hottest months of the year and remaining aware of the hazards that can affect good vision are vital.
- Keep sunbathing to a minimum: Not only is the sun the main cause of skin cancer, but it can lead to various eye complications such as eye irritations, cataracts (clouding in the eye that makes it difficult to see) and pterygia (growths on the surface of the eye). The same goes for using sunbeds and tanning cylinders.
- Keep your hat on! For extra measures against harmful rays, shield your eyes with a wide-brimmed hat whilst outdoors for long periods of time. When exercising outdoors be sure to wear sunglasses, a cap or a visor to keep your eyes out of direct sunlight.
- Eye health etiquette at the swimming pool — although swimming pools are filled with chlorine and other chemicals, and the ocean, dams and rivers contain various bacteria, this shouldn’t keep you from taking a refreshing dip in the water. If you wear contact lenses, remove them and place them in a container with solution before going for a swim. This will help avoid build-up of bacteria and micro-organisms in your eyes that can lead to infections. Goggles are useful eyewear for keeping chemicals and bacteria out of your eyes. If your goggles have UV protection, this can lessen UV radiation from sunlight.
- Keep eye drops handy: Various elements, such as dust particles, tiny insects and sand, can cause eye irritations that can lead to infections if not treated correctly. Eye drops are always a quick and easy, pocket-sized solution for getting rid of irritants in the eyes.
- Remain aware of peak sun times: The sun is usually at its highest and hottest between 10am and 3pm. This is the most important time of the day to remember to put on your sunglasses when going into direct sunlight.
For more information and helpful tips about eye health visit www.mellins.co.za.