Do you remember the song Summer Eyes by R.I.O? The lyrics go:
“You got my favourite summer eyes
Perfect strangers, no surprise
I need to, I need to, I need to look twice
You got my favourite summer eyes”
If you want “my favourite summer eyes” may we suggest you protect them? We are told to have a tube of sunscreen lotion at hand, but do you remember anyone reminding you to make wise decisions regarding protective eyewear?
Eyes are sensitive to the air during summer. The heat, as well as the high levels of pollutants and irritants in the air, may cause them to suffer with allergic reactions. The symptoms are usually short lived, but they can cause considerable discomfort.
In order to maintain good vision for many summers to come, we suggest you observe the following suggestions:
- avoid the midday sun – if possible, stay indoors between 10h00 and 15h00 because this is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest
- wear sunglasses with 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays – even on a cloudy day (ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, and is associated with skin aging, while ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning)
- goggles in the swimming pool and in the ocean will protect your eyes from chlorine and other contaminants that may hurt your eyes
- regular handwashing (and, by now, because of Covid-19, we all should be accomplished at that!) helps in avoiding eye-related conditions such as conjunctivitis which is known to develop after touching something that someone with the condition has touched after they have rubbed their eyes
- wearing a hat, with eight-centimetre brim, as well as your good-quality sunglasses will significantly reduce ultra-violet radiation exposure – and oh… so ‘très’ trendy!
- a wholesome diet plenty of water are essential ingredients for healthy summer eyes – nutritious food helps slow or prevent the progression of eye conditions and water helps provide fluid for eye function
- eye drops will help relieve the discomfort of dry eye – omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc as well as vitamins B6, B12, E and C can improve symptoms of dry eyes, but if the condition persists, you should visit your optometrist.
- your eyes work hard all day long so remember they are relying on you to give them the rest they need.
Too much exposure to ultra-violet radiation (UVR) can cause photokeratitis sunburnt eyes that can last up to 48 hours and more commonly known as “snow blindness”, while continual UVR exposure, particularly to UVB rays, may cause cataracts, pterygium or skin cancer of the eyelids.
Frequent exposure to chlorine affects the integrity of your corneal epithelium. If that protection is compromised, you have increased risk of corneal abrasion or other eye injuries.
It is believed that a child’s ocular lenses do not filter out UV light as efficiently as an adult’s, which means that children can sustain eye damage more readily.
Your kitchen provides the ingredients for useful tips for summer eyes. Try the following suggestions and see the light glow from your eyes:
- splash your eyes, or place cotton pads soaked in ice water on closed eyes for about 10 minutes to help freshen them up – and relax them
- aloe vera juice in the eyes helps lessen summer strain
- place a slice of chilled cucumber on each closed eye and relax for 15 minutes – open your eyes and feel completely refreshed
- a slice of potato placed on each closed eye for a relaxing 15 minutes will reduce puffiness of your eyelids and take care of dark circles
- a few drops – or a spray – of rose water in each eye can help cool them down – and cottonwool dipped in rose water, placed on closed eyes, can get rid of dark circles
- strawberry slices or crushed mint leaves, placed on your closed eyes helps rejuvenate them
- get your eyes to sparkle with used tea bags that you have put in the fridge – place them over your closed eyes and relax for 15 minutes
- splash your eyes with brewed green tea that you have allowed to cool
- tomato pulp mixed with lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric will lighten the skin under your eyes – leave it on for about 20 minutes
We offer a safe, welcoming environment, follow all the Covid-19 health protocols – and implore you to follow good eye-care practices.