The merciless summer is here and that calls for numerous health problems, including the harmful effect on our eyes. With increase in intensity of heat now, it is essential for us to be aware of precautions and preventive measures to avoid eye problems.
During summer, when somebody sees the sunlight directly, due to the sharp rays of light, it can lead to solar retinopathy, which can also cause decrease in the vision permanently. Direct exposure to the light can cause development of pterygium (a growth on the cornea) and increase in cataract. Hence, protecting your eye from the harmful UV rays is very important.
Additionally, the exposure to ultra-violet (UV) rays is higher during summer, especially at midday. Use of sunglasses which are UV protective can help in preventing damage to the eye.
Keeping the body hydrated well during summer is one of the most crucial things to keep eye complications at bay. This is because ‘dry eyes’ is one of the most common conditions observed among people during this season. Dry eyes tend to get aggravated because of quick evaporation. Few tips such as using cold water to wash your eyes and use of artificial tears will help treat dry eyes. Adequate intake of water and fruits like melons is advised to keep the body hydrated.
To beat the heat, it is a common tendency for people to engage in swimming. However, little does anyone realise that the chances of getting infections are higher when summer is at its peak. One needs to make sure that they use protective goggles in order to prevent eye infections and protect the cornea from chlorinated water.
Contact lenses users should be also careful while handling their lenses. Due to the heat, hands can often get sweaty and damp. It is necessary to wash hands before using contact lens to prevent the development of any sort of infections.
Allergy is another major concern during summer season. Allergic conjunctivitis is one among them which causes severe itching, redness and ropy discharge. To prevent it, one should refrain from rubbing the eyes and also wash the face after coming back home from the polluted environment outside. However, it is recommended that if severe allergy persists one should consult an ophthalmologist who will suggest some antiallergic medications to treat the same. Chances of getting affected by infective conjunctivitis are also high. In this eye ailment, the infection spreads rapidly through the secretions. Simple tips like using separate towels and bed sheets, frequent washing of hands can prevent the spread of infection among other family members.
On the whole, proper hygiene, intake of healthy foods and lots of fluids can go a long way in keeping eye problems at bay with the scorching heat coming in.
The author is the chairman of Dr Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals