Marano Eye Care previously recommended tips to care for your eyes during the summer, but it felt like time for a follow up. During the summer, eyes have a variety of risk factors, making it imperative to take protective measures. For this part of the summer eye care series, we will take a closer look at some scenarios in which your eyes are most at risk and add some extra tips for your eye care.
UV Exposure at the Beach
One of the favorite pastimes for New Jersey residents during the summer is to head down to the Jersey Shore on the weekends for a dip in the water and to tan on the beach. Many realize the need for suntan lotion, but there are few places where more protection for your eyes is needed. Between the beach’s yellow sand and the high reflectivity of the ocean, exposure to UV rays for your eyes and your body can increase by 25%.
A beach umbrella may be considered the easiest solution, but because ultraviolet bounces off every surface at the beach, your eyes will still be at risk for sun exposure. ALWAYS have sunglasses with UV protection for the beach
What are UV Rays?
UV stands for Ultraviolet light and these rays behave like any other part of the light spectrum. However, UV rays are just outside of the human color spectrum. To us, there is no evidence of UV light. But like gravity and radio waves, ultraviolet is very real.
UV radiation can be broken down into two separate types – UVA rays and UVB. The latter is the shorter wave of the two and is most responsible for sunburns. Because these operate at a shorter frequency on the light spectrum, clothing or sitting in the shade will help protect you.
That isn’t the case with UVA rays. Their longer form penetrates many surfaces more effectively. This includes light clothing, clouds and – you might be surprised to find out – your eyelids. Consequently, simply closing your eyes while laying out at the beach is not enough to keep your eyes protected.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes Before Washing Your Hands
During the summer months, the great outdoors is an attractive proposition for people young and old. But being outdoors means less opportunity to wash our hands, exposure to more unclean surfaces and increased perspiration.
The summer also has high levels of allergens and frequently gives people dry eyes. The urge to rub or touch the area near the eyes can expose them to infection, redness and extreme irritation. We’ve all experienced the unpleasant stinging sensation of rubbing sweat into our eyes. It’s not fun!
The solution? Use a damp paper towel to wash the eye area and become a regular carrier of eye drops. Eye drops come with a variety of different formulas, and using the right ones can bring far more relief than rubbing them ever could. If you need help finding the right eye drops, please call Marano Eye Care for a consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have during your next visit.
What does sleep have to do with eye health, and why does it matter during the summer? Many people associate winter as the season that affects sleep behavior, but summer has a similar and opposite effect. Several factors during the summer can decrease the amount of sleep we get each night:
The dog days of summer bring increasingly hot conditions, something that’s detrimental to sleep. If your bedroom is too warm, the body can be too stimulated and will keep you awake.
Vacations and Parties
Who doesn’t love fun in the summer?! Marano Eye Care certainly does, but summer fun often results in disruption of normal sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. Worse, if you have social neighbors, it’s likely that there will be at least one night of disrupted sleep due to noise. If you stop your sleep schedule, the body has trouble adjusting.
When you live in New Jersey and the northeast, the change in daylight from the cold to warm months can keep you stimulated far later than desired. Any light is stimulating, but the sun is the most impactful.
On average, people will experience less sleep in the summer due to a desire to stay up later, followed by earlier sun exposure and sleep disruption. If your amount of sleep decreases too much, you may experience eye spasms, dry eyes and reduced visual acuity.
Invest in good blinds and try to keep your normal sleep schedule. Ideally, the time you go to sleep and wake up should be within an hour of your average day. While the urge to stay up later is tempting, regular changes to your schedule will eventually take its toll.