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Posts Categorized: Eye Health

Summer is a season full of outdoor activities, bright sunshine, and vacation fun. However, the increased exposure to sunlight and environmental elements can pose risks to your eye health. In this blog, we will explore how to take care of your eyes during the summer, the potential eye problems caused by summer conditions, and provide practical tips to keep your vision safe and healthy.

Eye care in summer

Can summer cause eye problems?

Yes, summer can cause several eye problems due to increased exposure to UV rays, dry air, chlorine in swimming pools, and other environmental factors. Common summer-related eye issues include:

  • UV damage: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).
  • Dry eyes: Hot and dry conditions can reduce tear production, causing discomfort and irritation.
  • Allergies: Pollen and other allergens are more prevalent in summer, leading to itchy, red, and watery eyes.
  • Infections: Swimming in pools or natural water bodies can expose your eyes to bacteria and chemicals, increasing the risk of infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye).

How to protect your eyes from UV damage?

Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is crucial during summer. Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound styles provide additional protection by blocking rays from the sides. Using a wide-brimmed hat can also reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your eyes by up to 50%. Additionally, limiting sun exposure by staying indoors or in the shade during peak sunlight hours can significantly reduce UV damage.

What can you do to prevent dry eyes in summer?

Dry eyes can be particularly troublesome during the summer months. Staying hydrated is essential, so drink plenty of water to maintain healthy tear production. Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Avoiding direct airflow from wind, fans, and air conditioning is also important, as these can exacerbate dryness. Wearing protective eyewear, such as sunglasses or goggles, can shield your eyes from drying elements and help maintain moisture levels.

How to prevent eye infections during summer activities?

Enjoying water activities is a staple of summer, but it’s important to take precautions to prevent eye infections. Wearing swim goggles can protect your eyes from chlorine, saltwater, and bacteria when swimming. It’s crucial to avoid touching your eyes to reduce the risk of introducing germs. Regularly cleaning your sunglasses, swim goggles, and contact lenses can prevent bacterial buildup and lower the risk of infections. Taking these steps can help ensure that you enjoy your summer activities without compromising your eye health.

Taking care of your eyes during summer is essential to maintain your vision and overall eye health. If you experience any eye discomfort or need professional advice on eye care, Erin Ridge Vision Care is here to help. 

Our expert team provides comprehensive eye care services tailored to your needs. Contact Erin Ridge Vision Care today to schedule an appointment and ensure your eyes are well-protected and healthy all summer long!

June is Cataract Awareness Month, a perfect time to shine a light on this common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Cataracts, characterized by the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, can lead to vision impairment and, if left untreated, blindness. Through this blog we aim to help you understand more about this condition and how it can be treated.

Cataracts

What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye’s lens begin to break down and clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy. This cloudiness can obstruct light from passing through the lens to the retina, leading to blurred or impaired vision. Cataracts typically develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. They are more common in older adults but can also occur due to other factors such as diabetes, injury, or prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the severity and progression of the condition. Common signs include blurry or cloudy vision, difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing halos around lights, frequent changes in prescription glasses, and fading or yellowing of colors. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an eye exam to determine if cataracts are the cause.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, your eye doctor will perform several tests, including a visual acuity test to measure how well you see at various distances, a dilated eye exam to examine the retina and lens for signs of cataracts, tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye, and a retinal exam to see the back of your eye, including the retina and optic nerve. These tests help in assessing the presence and severity of cataracts, enabling the doctor to recommend the appropriate treatment.

What are the treatment options for cataracts?

The primary treatment for cataracts is surgery. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. There are two main types of cataract surgery: 

  • Phacoemulsification: It uses ultrasound waves to break up the cloudy lens that is then removed and replaced with an artificial lens, and 
  • Extracapsular surgery: It involves removing the cloudy part of the lens through a larger incision and replacing it with an artificial lens. In the early stages, changes in glasses prescriptions, improved lighting, and anti-glare sunglasses may help manage symptoms, but surgery is the only permanent solution.

How can you prevent cataracts?

Preventing cataracts involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and protecting your eyes. The following tips can help reduce your risk:

  • Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of cataracts.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive drinking can contribute to cataract development.
  • Manage health conditions: Keep conditions like diabetes under control.
  • Regular eye exams: Early detection can prevent serious complications.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts or it’s been a while since your last eye checkup, don’t wait. Come to Erin Ridge Vision Care for a comprehensive eye checkup today. Our experienced team is here to help you maintain optimal eye health and clear vision. Contact us to schedule your appointment.