Protect Your Eyes This Summer

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Protect Your Eyes This Summer

Your Eyes Need A Vacation

Summertime means vacation for many. From the lake house to the mountains to the beach, you’ll most likely end up somewhere with a campfire, water activities or sun exposure. With all of that comes risk to your eyes, so I thought I’d give you some tips for protecting your eyes this summer.

Follow the Light to Better Eyesight

Here’s the good news first: getting yourself outdoors is very beneficial to your eyesight. Individuals who spend an additional forty minutes to three hours a day outdoors have a decreased risk of conditions like myopia (nearsightedness). Sun exposure, a primary way for humans to produce vitamin D, is a significant factor in determining the axial length and structure of the eye. Low levels of this vitamin are correlated with increased risk of myopia in early childhood, so decent sun exposure lowers the odds of becoming nearsighted.

Bad news: Nearsightedness is prominent among today’s youth, as the younger generation’s culture is very much indoor. With Netflix, electronic devices, and little time to do things freely, this comes as no surprise. That’s why this summer is a great opportunity to get everyone outside to refresh that eyesight.

Tips To Protect Your Pupils

  • Get Shady. Though sunlight can be just what your eyes need (as I previously mentioned), be careful not to overexpose them. Sunglasses and sunscreen on your cheeks are common ways of shading your eyes from the sun – or keep it simple, and stand under a tree. It’s true; too much sun, especially direct exposure to UV rays, can be harmful to your eyes. So take heed, keep a healthy balance of sun exposure, and know when to find shade.
  • Campfires: Keep Your Distance. From the smoke to the heat to the flying ash, it’s smart to keep a generous distance from the campfire. I recommend longer wires to roast the hot dogs and marshmallows, because embers do float, fly and land, and you don’t want them to land in your eye. Much like when you’re cooking around popping grease, be aware of the spontaneity of a blazing fire. If it burns your face as you stand nearby, then it’s too hot for your eyes. Not to mention, I think we’ve all been there, when our eyes are red and blotchy the next day due to the puffs of raw smoke that filled our eyes. Dry and itchy the next morning, our eyes went through a lot just to have a front row seat. If it’s going to be chilly, come prepared with extra clothing to keep you cozy in your spot a few feet away.

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  • Water: Just as Bad as Fire. We filter water for a reason; because it isn’t pure. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) necessarily drink water before it’s been cleansed, and the same goes for your eyes. It is very important to wear eye protection if you’re going for a dip in the lake, ocean or river. Natural water sources are notorious for hosting parasites, as these bodies of water are home to other creatures and are open to the public and pollution. If you don’t have goggles, close your eyes tightly during the dive and while submerged. Otherwise, try to cover them with sealed eyewear to avoid bacteria and, in turn, prevent infection.
  • Be a Safe Lumberjack. Camping usually incorporates some kind of firewood, which means someone has to go on the hunt for it. Later, someone will be chopping it up for use. Be careful in this situation of flying wood chips, dirt, and rocks by wearing the proper eye protection. Whether it’s your sunglasses, work glasses, or protective goggles, be sure to cover your eyes from debris that could cause serious damage. The same goes for other similar tasks, such as pitching a tent or playing outdoor games.

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  • Be prepared: bring extra glasses or contacts. This one speaks for itself. If you wear contacts or glasses on the regular, bring a spare. There’s nothing worse than being on vacation, whether outdoors or indoors, without a way to see properly. Get on that plane, in that car, or on that bus fully prepared.

No matter what, have fun this summer, but most importantly, be able to see while you do it.

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