Health & Fitness

Eye health: How summer heat can harm your eyes; experts share tips to take care of them

As the temperature continues to soar, we ensure to take care of our health, skin and hair. However, we often miss paying attention to one of the most important parts of the body affected by the summer heat – our eyes. Just like our skin and health undergo immense pressure in summers, so do our eyes.

According to Dr Tushar Grover, Medical Director, Vision Eye Centre, New Delhi, “The sun’s scorching heat is extremely harmful to the eyes. Summertime exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of cataracts and retinal damage.”

“It can also cause eye allergies, which range from mild itching and redness to severe watering and swelling of the eyelids, sties, and bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Excessive heat exposure can result in ocular burns, cataracts, macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness), and cancer,” he added.

Wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection is essential. (Source: Pixabay)

This is mainly due to the fact that the heat and the high levels of pollutants and irritants in the air make our eyes prone to allergic reactions such as redness, itching and burning sensation, explained Dr Chikirsha Jain, Senior Consultant Retina and Ophthalmology, Ujala Cygnus Rainbow Hospital, Agra.

How to take care of your eyes during the summer season?

Taking care of your eyes is just as important in the summer as it is the rest of the year, shared Dr Grover. “You should still follow the same eye care precautions.”

*Wash your hands before handling contact lenses and wearing protective eyewear when participating in certain sports and activities.
*Wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection is essential. “Sunglasses are still recommended even if your contact lenses have UV protection built-in because they protect the surrounding eye area and act as a barrier between your eyes and the summer heat, preventing dry eye,” he said.
*During the summer season, dehydration is more likely, affecting your body’s ability to produce tears. So, it’s critical to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Dr Jain added: “If one does not use proper eye protection from the sun, dry eyes can develop as the tear film on the eye can evaporate more quickly.”

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