3 Tips for Summer Eye Safety

Posted on 2013/09/13 at 9:45 am by LASIK MD

Summer is winding down, but there are still a few weekends left to get out and enjoy the nice weather. Perhaps you recently received or would like to receive laser vision correction from LASIK MD. Congratulations on a great choice! Many fun summer activities come with concerns for eye safety. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.

1. Fireworks

Every summer, fireworks provide an amazing spectacle for millions, but people can get hurt in amateur fireworks displays, particularly children. It’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals—their shows are bigger and better than anything you can put on at home. If you do decide to set off your own fireworks, be sure to wear protective glasses or goggles with full side coverage for maximum eye safety.

2. Swimming in Pools

For some people, swimming in chlorinated pools causes eye irritation. Chlorine itself is not harmful to the eyes, but the chloramine created when chlorine reacts with contaminants in the pool can leave the eyes red and swollen. If you have a home pool, you can avoid this problem by making sure people shower before they take a dip and do not urinate in the pool, thereby minimizing the chloramine produced. If swimming in public pools irritates your eyes, try wearing goggles. Some goggles for swimmers have the added benefit of offering sun protection, which brings us to the most important summer eye safety issue: ultraviolet (UV) rays.

3. Summer Sun

Eyes, just as skin, can be harmed by UV rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses when you go outside in the summer, when UV rays can be three times as powerful as they are during the winter months. A hat with a visor is a good secondary measure, but nothing can replace sunglasses. Sunglasses should be rated to absorb 99 to 100 percent of UV rays, especially UVB rays. Make sure to confirm this when purchasing sunglasses; dark lenses do not necessarily offer ample protection. The lens itself may be UV-absorbing or may have been given a protective coating. The coating will work, but not as well as UV lenses, and it can wear off.

Rays from the sun are particularly strong when they are reflected by water, so be sure to wear sunglasses and a hat at the beach or when you’re spending the day on the lake. Even on a cloudy day when you cannot see the sun, some UV rays still get through. UV rays are also stronger at higher elevations and are reflected by snow; if you’re climbing Everest this summer, be sure to take some good shades!

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