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Summertime Eye Health

It’s hard to believe that summer is already here.

Summer!

Phew! Is it just me or does it seem like this last few years have flown by in a crazy way... But like… Have also dragged on COVID-19 style? With the world opening back up and activities beginning again, it’s time to really start preparing to get out there and have some fun - and protect our eyes!

Taking care of our eyes from the outside in

Oftentimes, the macular degeneration world discusses all the ways to take care of our eyes from the inside out. We do things like eat healthy food, get a good night’s sleep, exercise to release hormones so our nutrients can be properly absorbed, receive injections of medication, and take vitamins to supplement the nutrition our eyes need to function properly… The list goes on and on.

Summertime brings different challenges for our eyes

In the summertime, well in any season really, it’s important to take care of our eyes on the outside as well. It’s true that we need to do things like wear sunglasses every day, even in the winter, but the reality of it is that we spend more time in the sun during the summer months. Therefore it’s important to really amp up our eye protection game.

More sun exposure means more of a need for eye protection. Not only do we spend more time outdoors and in the sun’s potentially harmful rays during the summer, but the activities we do can enhance the sun’s intensity as well.

Swimming at the pool, for example, is one such activity. Have you ever been on the lake or at the pool and think holy moly, that water is bright? Well, the sun’s light reflects and bounces off of the water and gives off rays that are brighter and more intense than regular sun rays are.

Being in the sun can feel scary

It can feel scary to go outside sometimes because of the sun’s exposure. Now that I know that the sun’s rays are harmful to my fragile retinas, and can potentially cause more harm and vision loss, I try really hard to not expose my eyes whenever I can. But, for me, there has to be a balance. I’m not one to sit around and not live my life. So, it’s important for me to know all the things I can do in order to protect my eyes and still have a fun summer.

What can we do?

Here’s a list of things we can do to help protect our eyes from the summer sun:

  • Wear sunglasses every single time we’re outside (as long as they don’t inhibit our ability to see and be safe). I mean it too... every single time we’re outside. Even when it’s an overcast day.
  • Going swimming? Use goggles! They even have tinted goggles with UVA and UVB protection!
  • Wear a hat! Most of the sunglasses we wear don’t protect the sun’s rays from getting in from all angles. Bring a hat with you if you can as added protection.
  • Find a shaded spot to post up. At the pool? Find an umbrella. At the park? Find a tree.

Excited to get out

I’m so excited about finally getting to do things with my kiddos this summer after a strange COVID-19 summer last year!

I hope you all have an amazingly great season filled with fun and good health!

Teaching good habits

One last thought before I go... It’s important to start healthy eye protection habits at a young age. If you’re hanging out with little ones this summer, be sure to help them protect their eyes too - and tell them why! That way they want to keep on doing these things for their entire lives.

Andrea Junge

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