Be Sun Safe this Fourth of July, and All Year Long
With summer in full swing, most attention on being sun safe focuses on the skin. Taking care of your skin during summer is extremely important, but taking care of your eyes is equally important. Your eyes are always affected by the sun, especially during the summer months when our climate is excessively hot and dry. With that in mind, here are a few easy tips from Dr. Jack Abrams and the Abrams Eye Institute, to follow to keep your eyes safer this summer:
- Wear Sunglasses: Sunglasses are an important part of sun safety, and wearing them is the first step in taking care of your eyes, not only in the summer, but throughout the entire year. We recommend a pair of glasses with polarized lenses. While even the cheapest sunglasses alternatives can help, better lenses make a difference. Make sure you have a pair of sunglasses that absorb UV-A and UV-B rays. You can also have prescription lenses coated to protect against UV rays.
- Wear a Hat: Give your sunglasses an assist by shielding your face with a hat. A hat with a wide brim can add an additional layer of protection, especially when enjoying outdoor activities such as golf, spending time at the pool, or going for walks in the early morning or late afternoon. Hats can block a significant portion of UV rays, in particular those rays that may hit your eyes from above or around sunglasses.
- Use Drops: Everyone in Las Vegas takes some relief from the heat by adding the qualifier that we have a ‘dry heat.” This is true, and anyone that has lived in a humid climate would agree that dry heat feels a little more comfortable, but that dry heat doesn’t always play nice with your eyes. Carry and use drops regularly, whether you use contact lenses, wear glasses, or even if you don’t have a prescription. An additional benefit of drops is that they can help remove dust and grit that can get kicked up by windy days. Dry eyes can cause a lot of problems for your eyes, so look to avoid them with the regular use of eye drops.
- Watch the Clock: Staying out of the sun during peak hours can be difficult, but if you can, your eyes will benefit from staying inside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have to be outside during those hours, pay particular attention to using drops, wearing a hat and wearing your sunglasses and try not to do so for very long. Even the best sun smart practices can only do so much with extended exposure.
Practicing smart sun safety for the eyes can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, all well cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions. It’s important to note that all of the sun safety precautions listed above should be taken by everyone – no matter what your age. So make sure you’re following these guidelines, and help make sure your children, grandchildren or parents or grandparents are doing so as well.
If you feel like you have any issues with your eyes, related to the sun, make an appointment and we’ll take a look.
Enjoy the summer – and be safe!
Dr. Jack Abrams