DURING the peak of the summer it is important we take steps to look after our eyes when out in the sun as well as our skin. To help families keep their eye health in check during August, here are some top tips from Specsavers Ópticas.
UV rays can damage our vision as well as our skin. Prolonged UV exposure has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, and even some types of eye cancer. Sunglasses are not just fashion accessories – It’s particularly important that you wear a good pair that offer high levels of UV protection.
Sunglasses don’t need to be expensive but they should always conform to agreed safety standards. Look out for a CE (European Community Standard), BSEN1836 (British Standard) or UV400 markings and aim for a pair that offer 80 percent light reduction.
When we’re out in the sun we’ll often apply sun cream to parts of our bodies which are exposed, however we may often forget our eyelids. The skin on our eyelids is extremely thin and can burn very easily – especially if you doze off while sunbathing. Make sure you use a cream which is suitable for the delicate and sensitive area and take care when applying so as not to get any lotion in your eye.
Know how to deal with irritants in the eye
If you do get sun cream or a foreign body in the eye, such as a grain of sand, it is important you know what to do so as not to cause any damage.
As with any chemicals, if you get lotion in your eye you need to irrigate and flush your eye out with water. Tilt your head to the side so the water runs across your eye to your ear as you don’t want anything to potentially transfer into your other eye.
With a foreign object in the eye, although it is extremely uncomfortable it is important to remain calm as the more you blink, the more damage you could be causing. Try to flush it out, and if need be use your eyelashes to lift the eyelid off the surface of your eye while you do so.
See your optician who can swab to remove the foreign body and, depending on the type of injury, use drops or ointment to help prevent infection. Lubrication of the eye with a gel or ointment can help with comfort during recovery and may be recommended for up to three months to prevent a recurrence of the scratch.
Never wear contacts in water
Do not wear your contact lenses while swimming as there is a risk of serious infection if you wear them in a pool or the sea. It’s important to always wash your hands with non-cosmetic soap before handling contact lenses, never to use tap water to rinse them, and never to put contact lenses in your mouth. Microorganisms can also live in distilled water, risking infection or sight damage. Prescription swimming goggles are a good alternative.
For more information or to request an appointment at your local store, visit www.specsavers.es