From sun and swimming to yard work and allergens, summer can make eye care tough. One of the biggest risk factors for infection and injury can be swimming.
Here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy while you enjoy a summer swim:
- Keep your eyes clean with goggles
Chemicals used to keep your pool clean, like chlorine, can affect the natural tear film that keeps our eyes moist and healthy. The result? Red, irritated eyes and sometimes blurry vision. Keep eyes feeling good by wearing swim goggles in the pool, and splash your closed eyes with fresh water immediately after getting out of the pool.
- Keep your eyes protected with eye drops or artificial tears
Those with dry eye can have additional problems when eyes are irritated by salt or pool chemicals. Ask your ophthalmologist about using over the counter or prescription eye drops and artificial tears to keep your eyes protected and hydrated.
- Take precautions when using contact lenses while swimming
Wearing contact lenses while swimming in any environment—including a pool, hot tub, ocean or lake—puts you at high risk for corneal infection. Bacteria can grow on the lenses even after just one swim. For the best swimming eye care, remove contacts and wear prescription goggles while swimming to keep your eyes healthy. If you do wear lenses in the water, remove and replace them immediately after swimming to reduce the chance of infection.
- Wear UVA / UVB protection when in the sun
Even when you’re not swimming, eye care is important. Remember to wear a pair of high-quality sunglasses when you are outside in the summer to help keep you safe from the sun’s damaging rays. When choosing sunglasses, look for sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. This provides full protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Polarized sunglasses can reduce glare, which is nice if you’re spending a lot of time on the water. Also, look for sunglasses that fully cover your eyes. Wrap-around lenses are even better because they block out light and glare from the side, as well as the front.