With summer well underway, outdoor activities abound in the Baton Rouge area. Evenings and weekends may be spent taking the children to the park, going for a swim, or enjoying a round of golf. As you enjoy these long days of memory making and fun, you may slather on the sunscreen in anticipation of the hours spent outdoors. However, protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV rays and reflective glare can be equally important.
While the sun’s damaging effect on eyesight does not just occur during the summer months, extra time spent outdoors calls for extra precaution. When left unprotected, your eyes are extremely susceptible to the sun’s UV rays, which may lead to cataracts and macular degeneration with age. Furthermore, the sun’s rays are capable of actually causing severe sunburn to the eyes, a condition known as photokeratitis. In order to protect your eyes from these and other damaging effects of the sun, there are few steps that you should take:
Sunglasses – By far and away your eyes’ best protection against the sun is a quality pair of sunglasses. Ensure that the pair you buy blocks UV rays and features a close-fitting style, allowing a minimal amount of direct sunlight to reach the eye. Additionally, broad-brimmed hats may offer some protection and shading as well.
Don’t be Fooled by the Shade – Just as your skin can burn on cloudy days, your eyes can be negatively impacted by the sun as well. Whether it’s overcast or the sun is bright and shining, choose adequate eye protection.
Be Mindful of the Sun’s Glare – The reflective glare of the sun on water and even snow can increase UV exposure to your eyes. Even if you remain in the shade, be mindful of any reflective surfaces nearby.
Diet – A diet which includes nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin will help protect your eyes from damage and age-related vision loss from cataracts or macular degeneration. To learn more about what to include in your diet, check out our “Top 5 Super Foods for Healthy Eyes.”
Summer should be a time for sun, relaxing, and plenty of outdoor fun. However, it’s important that your vision stay protected during this time as well. Follow the steps above, and you can ensure that the sun will have minimal negative impact on your eyes and their long-term health.
In the event that you do experience some painful or vision-impairing side effects from sun exposure, the ophthalmologists at Eye Specialists of Louisiana are available to help. Contact our office for an appointment if you have any concerns or are simply ready for a routine eye exam. We are proud to be home to three qualified physicians who are able to help with all of your needs.