As we see temperatures starting to rise, it's crucial to acknowledge the significant impact of high temperatures and sun exposure. It's essential to remember that hot weather and harmful sun rays do not only affect our skin but can also affect our eyes. In this blog post, we will explore how hot weather affects your eyes and what you can do to prevent your eyes from being affected by hot weather.
Common eye conditions to be aware of during summer
If you’re wondering how hot the weather affects your eyes, below you can read about the most common eye problems that can result from the heat.
Dryness and irritation
Hot weather can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated, especially if you spend extended periods outdoors. This happens because the heat causes the moisture in your eyes to evaporate, leading to dryness and discomfort. Additionally, the wind can worsen the dryness and irritation by blowing dust and pollen into your eyes. To prevent this, use artificial tears or eye drops to lubricate your eyes and wear sunglasses or protective goggles to shield them from the wind and dust.
Yes, you read that right – your eyes can get sunburned! Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause photokeratitis, also known as "sunburned eyes." Symptoms of sunburned eyes include redness, a gritty feeling, and sensitivity to light. If you experience these symptoms, rest your eyes, avoid bright light, and use artificial tears or eye drops to soothe them. You can prevent sunburned eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
Eye allergies are often associated with spring pollen but are equally prevalent during warmer months when allergens such as mould or seeds are abundant. These allergens can exacerbate symptoms like dryness, itching, or a burning sensation in the eyes. To help alleviate symptoms you can use eye drops designed to lubricate your eyes and produce more tears, making your eyes feel less dry. Oversized glasses and sunglasses are also great way to protect your eyes from allergens, due to the surface area covering your eyes and preventing pollen and allergens from entering the eye.
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of your eye that can cause vision problems. While ageing is the primary cause of cataracts, exposure to UV rays can also contribute to their development. Studies show that people who spend more time in the sun are more likely to develop cataracts. To reduce your risk of cataracts, wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays and a hat with a brim to shade your eyes.
Conjunctivitis, also known as "pink eye," is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eye. Hot weather can contribute to the development of conjunctivitis by creating a warm, moist environment that promotes bacterial growth. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, itching, and discharge. If you experience these symptoms, avoid touching your eyes and see a doctor for treatment.
5 prevention tips to protect your eyes
To maintain good eye health, it is crucial to take care of your eyes year-round, particularly during the summer months. Here are 5 expert-recommended tips for preventing eye problems:
1. Schedule regular eye tests to detect and address any issues beyond just checking your prescription.
2. Wear sunglasses that are approved and suitable for your activity, particularly when in areas with reflected light, such as the beach or snow. Learn how to choose the right sunglasses for you.
3. Use eye drops to provide moisture to your eyes and relieve dryness.
4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as hot weather can cause dehydration and reduce your ability to produce tears.
5. Limit your exposure to allergens as much as possible, use sunglasses, and wash your face or eyes with clean distilled water if you experience any discomfort.
We hope that you found our expert tips helpful in keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable this summer. To stay on top of your eye health, don't forget to schedule an appointment for an eye test at your local store.