Whether it’s currently summer in your area, or you’re planning out your summer season in months or weeks to come, we’ve got some tips for you to keep your eyes healthy during the warmest, sunniest season of the year.
Remember to get your kids sunglasses.
We don’t always think about giving kids sunglasses and admittedly, it can be difficult to get kids to keep their sunglasses on, especially when they’re young. It’s actually much more important than we may consider on a daily basis. Up to 50% of our lifetime exposure to harmful UV rays happens before age 18, when eyes are more sensitive and still developing. There are many sunglasses for kids, just be sure to follow the suggestions above and try to find a pair that they like as it will improve the chance of them wearing them on their own. If your child cannot wear contacts or you would like them to have full coverage, Jonathan Paul® Fitovers offers highly durable sunglasses sized specifically for children in fun colors and a stylish wayfarer shape.
Cover more than just your eyes.
Yes, this blog post is about eye health but we still want our readers to stay as healthy as possible and harmful UV rays can also have a detrimental effect on your skin. In addition to sunglasses, be sure to wear hats or visors, use umbrellas or find shade, and apply your sunscreen when going out into the sun.
Protect your eyes while working on home projects.
Summer season is a popular time for home improvement projects, but many people forget to protect their eyes from dangerous objects, especially if they don’t usually do such projects. Even just mowing the lawn or clearing gutters can be dangerous for your eyes, as objects can ricochet or unexpectedly fall towards your face. We recommend to always use goggles while working on home or lawn projects this summer.
Avoid sport injuries.
Summer is also high-season for recreational sports, whether it’s a family game or community team. Many sport-related eye injuries are found in sports with small balls, such as badminton, baseball, paintball, and golf. If you wear sunglasses while playing, look for polycarbonate lenses due to their high durability against impact – and of course 100% UVA/UVB protection.
Avoid chemicals and natural irritants.
Chemicals found in pools and common natural irritants like poison ivy, oak, insect bites, lake and river bacteria can be harmful or bothersome to you in general, but especially near your eyes. Be sure to always wear goggles if you will be opening your eyes in a pool, river, or lake. Also, if you find yourself outside near natural irritants, be mindful of keeping your hands clean after touching certain plants, as rubbing allergens into your eyes can cause many problems.
Be careful during special occasions and unique events.
Summer is full of fun for many people but if you find yourself near fireworks, it is so important to keep your eyes protected. Fireworks have been known to severely injure people’s eyes; while they are beautiful, be aware of your surroundings and cover your eyes or wear protective covering while within range of falling debris or ash. Additionally, summer means schools out for the kids! Many children’s toys, such as dart guns, have been well known to severely injure or take vision when they accidentally hit someone in the eye. If you have kids home more often, they will likely be playing with their toys more so be careful for their eyes – and yours!
Know how to deal with sand in your eyes.
Speaking of special occasions, summer is a popular time for vacation and visiting the beach. A common issue is finding yourself with sand in your eyes from the wind, people walking by, or shaking out towels. Don’t rub your eyes! It is recommended to either flush out these particles with clean water or natural tears but rubbing your eyes can actually cause the course sand particles to scratch your cornea. To flush out the particles, keep your eyes open and flush with clean water; or blink and allow eyes to flush out sand particles with natural tears. Seek medical help if you find no relief from flushing your eyes, as rubbing can scratch your cornea.
Take care when camping outdoors overnight.
Camping is also a common summer season activity. There are so many ways that your eye health can be threatened while staying overnight outdoors, camping or otherwise. Natural irritants as mentioned above should be kept in mind and try to keep your hands very clean in case you do rub your eyes. It is also very important to keep your contact lenses clean, as 2 in 5 people don’t wash their hands before handling contacts. Wearing glasses instead of contacts while camping is the safest for hygienic reasons. Lastly be sure to utilize safety while dealing with BBQ pits or campfires. If you do wear prescription glasses, try using them instead of contacts while camping & of course protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses, fitovers if necessary.
Don’t be fooled by cloud coverage.
Cloud coverage can be very dangerous because people think that since it is not sunny, there’s no need for sunglasses. Unfortunately, this is not true. Remember: clouds don’t block UV rays. Even if clouds are blocking some light, if the sun is up, behind the clouds, there are still UVA and UVB rays coming through. That being said, it is also dangerous to wear dark sunglasses in overcast weather, which is why we recommend lighter tints like yellow for the few cloudy days in summer.
Eat the right foods.
That’s right, sun and injury protection aren’t the only way to healthy eyes. There are many foods that promote eye health and can aid in eye disease prevention. You may have heard that carrots do this, but don’t fret if you hate carrots, there are plenty more delicious foods – and they’re healthy for your overall health, too! You can find a full list by simply googling or checking out our breakdown of which foods are best for your eyes and why here.
In addition to a healthy diet, rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, drinking a lot of water will support eye moisture and help fight against dry eyes. Not only is drinking the right amount of water great for eye health, but also skin and overall health as well. Plus, summer heat can be dangerous depending on your location – always stay hydrated!
Get plenty of sleep.
Summer is an exciting time for many people – kids are out of school, there are more events and trips to attend. It’s easy to get caught up in everything and it can begin to take a toll on your body and health. Don’t sacrifice sleep and overall health (including eye health!) for summer fun – be sure to get rest so you can enjoy the good times.
Schedule your eye exam.
When back-to-school time rolls around, many schools require kids to have an eye exam. A good tip to keep everyone healthy is to schedule your eye exam with your kid’s eye exam, before the back to school rush – the sooner, the better.
Be mindful of peak sun hours.
It’s been said that 10 am to 2 pm are peak sunlight times so be sure to use as much sun protection midday or minimize time in direct light at these times.
Wear the right sunglasses.
During summer months, we tend to stay outside longer in much more intense UV sun rays. Additionally, we spend a lot of this time near water which reflects 10% of UV rays and sand which can reflect up to 15% of UV rays. Due to the heightened exposure to direct sunlight and reflective surfaces in summer, it’s important to not only find shade when possible, but also use sunglasses on a daily basis. You may be thinking about how your prescription glasses sometimes get in the way of protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays; remember glasses are no longer a good excuse to skip sun protection with the availability of quality, stylish fitover sunglasses. When looking for sunglasses, direct or fitover style, there are a few very important factors to take into consideration during the summer months:
- UV Protection – It is recommended to find sunglasses with 98-100% UV protection, but it is vital to eye health to know exactly what that means while you’re shopping. There are a few types of UV rays, but the UVA and UVB rays are the ones that can harm your eyes and it should not cost you extra as a consumer to find sunglasses that block both of these rays completely. This means that you should always look for 100% UVA/UVB protection clearly marked on sunglasses you’re buying. Furthermore, a dark lens tint doesn’t necessarily mean more UV protection, always look for an actual sticker or tag on the product that states 100% UVA and UVB protection. This should not cost you more as a consumer since it is the entire purpose of sunglasses, so any brand trying to charge more for UVA/UVB protection should be considered very questionable.
- Lens tint – Even though lens tint does not effect the actual level of your UV protection, it can still be very important depending on your intended activities. Since different lens colors/tints can help significantly while doing different activities, you should know what to look for when it comes to lens color and tint. While grey is best for intense sun and daily activities, amber is better for fishing, yellow is better for overcast and low-light, and green for depth of field sports like golf or tennis. Check out our complete lens color guide here – just be sure to find 100% UVA/UVB protection when shopping different tints!
- Wrap around design – Making sure the lenses are the right tint and UV protected are very important but frame design can also really help keep your eyes – and the delicate skin around them – healthy! Looking for wrap around sunglasses with a brow bar will keep sunlight from reaching your eyes from the sides and from above. If you wear glasses and shop for fitover sunglasses, you’ll find that many brands carry fitovers with brow bars. However if you don’t wear glasses but want to keep your eyes healthy, take a look at our collection as all of our sunglasses feature a brow bar along with exceptional style in a variety of choices.
- Polarization – While polarization does not have an effect on the medical health of your eyes, using polarized lenses while fishing or in high-glare situations such as swimming and driving is a good idea. Not only can polarized lenses help you avoid traffic accidents or snag that fish you can see in the water, it can also significantly reduce eye strain by cutting glare.