Eye Care in the Summer Months
Summer weather is here. The heat and temperatures this year are well above average for many areas. Summer also means enjoying more time outside as the colder snowy conditions have subsided. You lather your sunscreen to protect your skin from those pesky UV rays, but have you also considered summer eye problems to keep an eye on?
Several eye conditions occur with greater frequency and sometimes more severity due to sun exposure. Let’s review common concerns related to summer eye health, summer eye dangers to avoid, and tips for taking care of your eyes while enjoying the summer sun.
Examples of Summer Eye Concerns to Watch For
Can summer cause dry eyes?
Hot, dry weather causes tears to evaporate faster, leading to excessive dryness in your eyes. Your dry eye signs and symptoms may exacerbate during the summer if you experience chronic dry eye conditions or are prone to dry eyes throughout the year for other reasons.
While the sun may not worsen dry eyes, dehydration that can accompany excessive sun exposure may. Water is vital for adequate tear production. When the hot sun and high temperatures lead to dehydration, your ability to produce tears is greatly affected. Studies suggest dehydration may be closely linked to developing and worsening dry eye signs and symptoms.
Can the sun cause conjunctivitis?
When you hear the term conjunctivitis, is the eye infection pink eye the first thought that comes to your mind?
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection of the ordinarily transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the whites of your eye. When the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they become more visible, leading to the pink or red-coloured appearance often associated with the pink eye infection.
There are several types of conjunctivitis. Some occur as a result of exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Photoconjunctivitis, for example, occurs when UV light penetrates the eyes, causing the conjunctiva to become inflamed. Signs and symptoms of photoconjunctivitis arise quickly and can be pretty painful.
Conjunctivitis is very common during the summer months for a few reasons, including how easily bacteria spread in the warm summer weather, greater exposure to extreme heat, and more frequent exposure to UV rays
Can the sun cause styes?
Can you sunburn your eyes?
Like your skin and scalp, your eyes can become sunburned from too much exposure to harmful UV rays. The term for a sunburned eye is photokeratitis. Signs and symptoms include inflammation of the cornea, burning, and eye pain.
Photokeratitis is a painful, temporary condition caused by ultraviolet exposure. Direct sunlight is a cause of photokeratitis. You can also sunburn your eyes when the sun reflects off the snow, water, cars, or sand. Or when you use a tanning bed or a welding torch without proper eye protection. Too much sun exposure can lead to specific eye conditions, including cataracts, eyelid cancer, and age-related macular degeneration.
Why do my eyes burn in the summer?
Why do my eyes water more in the summer?
Can the sun make your eyes sore?
Many summer eye health concerns can lead to sore eyes in the summer. Dry eyes, eye allergies, conjunctivitis, and sunburned eyes will all lead to a certain amount of eye soreness. If you experience incredibly sore eyes after sun exposure, it is necessary to seek advice from your eye doctor immediately. While many summer eye conditions will resolve in a few days without significant clinical intervention, UV exposure can lead to eye conditions that require treatment by your eye doctor.
Do eyelids protect my eyes from the sun?
How can I take care of my eyes in the summer?
- Remember that sunglasses are not optional. When you head out for the day, don’t forget to grab a pair of sunglasses that protect your eyes from the UV rays. Also, it may help to keep a pair of sunglasses in your car or bag to ensure you have a spare in case you forget.
- To keep your eyes cool, wash them frequently with cool water. You can also use an ice pack over your eyes to relax them. Especially if you’re working in the sun or spending a lot of time looking at a technology screen. The cold water helps remove heat from the eyes and reduces discomfort and burning.
- Staying hydrated is another vital way to care for your eyes during the summer. Dehydration significantly impacts your eye’s ability to produce lubricating tears. In the heat, your eyes quickly lose moisture. Suppose you are not drinking plenty of water. In that case, your eyes cannot adequately maintain tear production to keep your eyes properly lubricated. This leads to dry eyes and burning. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water; however, if this does not help and your eyes still feel dry, consider contacting your nearby eye doctor about lubricating eye drops.