While summer is a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, be in contact with water and do outdoor sports activities, it is also a crucial time to take care of our eyes.
For this, it is necessary to take into account three main aspects that can become problematic: the sun, allergies and irritations.
Ultraviolet rays and the intensity of sunlight often cause eye pathologies at the macular, conjunctiva and crystalline lens levels. Eye irritation is the most immediate consequence and, after a few years, lesions may also occur at the macular level. In addition, repeated exposure to sunlight increases the risk of cataracts.
Faced with this situation, specialists in ophthalmology usually recommend the use of sunglasses. For their protective function to be efficient, they must be sufficiently intense to prevent ultraviolet rays from penetrating the inside of the eye. In addition, they must have an adequate degree of darkening to avoid light sensitivity.
The recommendation is that they should contain total ultraviolet protection, grade C, with dark gray shades. For those who wear hyperopic glasses, these can have greenish tints and for people with myopia, yellowish or amber tints work best.
A key aspect to keep in mind is that those glasses that are not suitable can even aggravate the damage of light penetration, since the darkening of the lenses favors the opening of the pupil and the entry of ultraviolet light.
Irritations caused by environmental agents, water or wind
First of all, we must be careful when we are in the swimming pool. Although it is practically impossible to prevent the toxicity of chlorine and other substances present in the water, for prolonged bathing it is advisable to use diving goggles or swimming goggles.
Secondly, seawater can also be irritating to our eyes. Beaches in Spain do not usually have toxic substances, but we must pay attention, since blue flag beaches are the ones that guarantee hygiene. However, if there is no excess saline, seawater can contribute to wash the conjunctiva of grease or pollutants and thus have a positive effect on our eyes.
Finally, we must take care of wind and other environmental agents such as dust or sand. Sunglasses also play an important role in this respect.
Allergies and pollutants
Infectious conjunctivitis can be spread in swimming pools, as a result of bathing with people affected by viral conjunctivitis. In addition, it can be caused by the hygienic conditions of the water. For this reason, to eliminate germs, it is essential to chlorinate the water or filter it with ultraviolet light.
However, it is not only swimming pools that are problematic, it is also necessary to be aware when bathing in enclosed fresh water, such as lakes or rivers.
Finally, wearing contact lenses while bathing is particularly dangerous. Patients who wear them should not do so when staying in non-chlorinated freshwater, as there is a high risk of acquiring a corneal infection. In fact, keratitis is one of the most frequent pathologies in contact lens wearers. This disease has serious complications, such as corneal scarring and corneal blindness, only treatable by transplantation.