Top 5 Tips for Summer Eye Care
New Zealand summers are unbeatable – long days in the sun, more outdoor sports than you could shake a stick at, and beautiful beaches to enjoy with the family.
It’s in our nature to get outdoors during this time of year, but too often we forget about our eyes and the extra care needed to protect our eyewear through the season.
Read on for our Top 5 Tips for caring for your eyes and eyewear in summer.
1. Swimming with contacts
Before you leap into the ocean or pool with your contacts in, stop and think! Wearing your contact lenses swimming can result in irritation, infection, and even corneal ulcers.
When contact lenses are worn in water, they absorb the bacteria (and in the case of swimming pools, chemicals) present in the water, holding these in contact with your eye. Some bacterial microbes such as acanthamoeba (found in both natural and manmade bodies of water) can cling to your eyes for days after contact, leading to acanthamoeba keratitis – an inflammation of your cornea that can develop to permanent vision impairment or blindness if left untreated.
Don’t worry though, your water activities don’t have to be restricted by your vision. Here’s what to do:
1. Wear goggles over your contacts, or
2. Remove your contacts before swimming.If you do swim in your contacts, always clean and disinfect them as soon as possible after swimming, and of course NEVER sleep in your contact lenses.If you spend a lot of time in the water, consider investing in a pair of prescription goggles to enable you to see comfortably and clearly underwater!
Call us at Greenlane Penrose Optometrists for a personalised solution for you or your family member.
2. Protect your eyes with UV glasses
You wear sunscreen to protect your skin, why wouldn’t you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes?
This vulnerable part of our bodies is often neglected, despite the fact that UV rays are responsible for a number of eye conditions from photokeratitis (short term sunburn-type damage) to pterygium, a long term tissue growth on the eye that can distort your vision. UV exposure is also thought to contribute to faster development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Unlike skin damage, eye damage isn’t always obvious and can take years to show. Therefore, prevention is crucial.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated: protecting your eyes, and your children’s eyes, is as easy as wearing UV sunglasses.
For the best protection for your family, look for these 3 things:
1. 100% UV protection. This is key to ensure your sunglasses will block the harmful UV rays from reaching your eyes. Always check the UV rating when buying new sunglasses.
2. Go big for coverage. Bigger frames offer bigger protection, and wraparound styles will shield even the corners of your eyes from rays.
3. Polarised is not the same as UV protection. Polarised sunglasses reduce glare from horizontal surfaces like water, but may not offer full UV protection. Remember tip #1, and look for that UV rating to make sure you’re covered.
Greenlane Penrose Optometrists have a wide selection of UV protective sunglasses, and can also fit your sunglasses with prescription lenses. For more information about UV protection for your eyes, read here.
3. Clean your glasses carefully
Sunscreen. Sand. Sea salt. It’s a fact of summer that they get everywhere, including your glasses. To ensure your specs last beyond the season, you’ll need to take proper care of them to protect them from scratches, breakage and deterioration.
1. Light clean: keep a microfibre cloth inside your glasses case to wipe away smudges from sunscreen, sweat, and hair products while out and about.
2. Sand & Salt: these harsh grains can damage your glass, requiring extra care. Scratches are more likely to occur when the lenses are dry, so first rinse them with clean water or a simple lens solution. Wet thoroughly to wash away the grains of sand or salt, before gently wiping away residue with your microfibre cloth.
3. Heavy use: for a more thorough clean, your glasses can be washed gently under lukewarm water with liquid soap. Avoid soaps with added moisturiser or scrubbing agents, and make sure the soap residue is totally rinsed away. Dry with a clean microfibre cloth.
If you need cleaning products or tips, contact Greenlane Penrose Optometrists to ask how we can help.
4. Keep your eyewear safe
There’s nothing more frustrating than dropping your new pair of sunglasses or prescription eyewear off the side of a boat, or feeling them slide off your suncreen-slick nose every five minutes while you’re out for a walk.
So how can you keep them on your face, or – at the very least – in your possession?
1. Reshape: Sometimes glasses will fall off your face because they’ve lost their shape. A visit to Greenlane Penrose Optometrist can assess this, and make any small adjustments to ensure they hold tight against your head and hook around your ears properly.
2. A lanyard: Maybe not the most fashionable, but using a lanyard or cord is the most practical way to keep your glasses in your possession. Favoured by sportsmen, this is a simple and cheap solution for people of all ages.
3. Go oil-free: Opt for an oil-free sunscreen to prevent your sunglasses from sliding off your nose!
4. Solid protection: Remember to always take your case with you, to keep your glasses protected each time you take them off.
5. Book your annual eye test
Finally, after protecting your eyes from UV rays, securing your eyewear and keeping it clean, the best way to care for your eyes this summer is with a regular eye check. Routine eye examinations for you and your family are the best way to catch early signs of damage, and take preventative action against further harm.
Book in with Greenlane Penrose Optometrists today for a visit, to discuss your summer eyewear needs and start the year right with the care your eyes deserve.
We’re always here with expert advice and are your go-to for a friendly eye exam. Book an appointment online or phone us on 09 525 1516.
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