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Protect Your Eyes During SummerSummer’s in full swing. Outdoor activities during this time of year – sports, yard work, swimming or even just laying out in the sun – can expose your eyes to a wide range of potential hazards. The Houston eye care professionals at the Berkeley Eye Center want our patients to get the full enjoyment summer has to offer while protecting their vision. It’s not difficult to have fun in the sun and protect your vision health when you follow a few simple tips.

Sunglasses for Everyday Activities

The most inexpensive and effective way to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging glare and UV radiation is a good pair of sunglasses. You should wear sunglasses anytime you step outdoors, even if the sky is overcast (UV rays can penetrate the clouds). For the best protection, only wear sunglasses that are labeled UV400 or 100 percent UV protection.

  • Research suggest that overexposure to the sun’s rays can put you at risk of developing cataracts. Like your skin, your eyes can also become sunburned; photokeratitis, or sunburn of the eyes, is a painful condition that can cause swelling, redness, blurry vision and headaches.
  • Sunglasses can also protect your eyes from sand, smoke and other airborne debris.
  • Wraparound style sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat provides extra protection from the Sun’s rays.

Safety Glasses Around the Home

In addition to outdoor recreation, summer is a time for yard and garden work as well as a time to get those home improvement and repair projects out of the way.  Safety glasses can prevent eye injuries around the home, whether you’re cutting wood, mowing the lawn, or painting the house.

  • When looking for a pair of safety glasses, you should select only American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved eyewear. ANSI approved eyewear meet high standards designed to protect the eyes from both high mass and high velocity impacts. Safety glasses are ANSI approved if they have a “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames and can be purchased at most hardware, building supply and sporting goods stores as well as online.
  • Depending on the job, you may want to wear safety glasses, goggles, face shields, a welding helmet or full-face respirators.
  • Almost 40 percent of home eye injuries occur while doing yard and garden work. It’s important to wear protective eyewear in situations where your eyes could be hit by flying debris such as grass clippings and wood chips. Goggles can protect your eyes from exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, paint and other chemicals.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when using power tools.
  • Be sure to turn off lawn equipment and power tools when those without protective eyewear are in the vicinity. If it’s a group effort, make sure everyone involved is wearing appropriate eye protection.

Eye Protection for Outdoor Sports

The warm sunny days of summer are a time for playing outdoor sports. Hiking, biking, baseball, volleyball and tennis are just a few of the sports popular during the summer months.

  • Almost any sporting activity can result in an eye injury. There are over 40,000 sports-related eye injuries are reported each year. Blunt trauma, infections, corneal abrasion and detached retina are just some of the common sports eye injuries.
  • You should select protective eyewear that provides clear visibility and high resistance to impacts.
  • Wearing the appropriate protective eyewear is especially important in sports involving small balls such as paintball, baseball, tennis, golf and badminton.

Underwater Eye Protection

In addition to making it easier to see more clearly in an aquatic environment, swim masks and goggles also protect the eyes from potentially hazardous substances drifting in the water. Chlorine and other chemicals used to keep the water in swimming pools clean can cause irritation. Bacteria and other contaminants found in oceans, lakes and other untreated waters can infect an unprotected eye.

If you choose not to wear a swim mask or googles, make sure you remove contacts. Being underwater breaks the surface tension that keeps the contacts in place, causing them to fall out of your eyes.

The Berkeley Eye Center Stresses Summer Eye Safety

It pays to protect your vision all year round. The Houston eye care specialists at the Berkeley Eye Center have been serving the vision health needs of Houstonians and residents of surrounding areas for over 50 years. We want to help our patients protect their vision while going about their everyday lives. If you have any questions about protecting your vision during the summer months, are experiencing changes in your vision or haven’t had an eye exam in a while, please don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment at one of our 21 locations.

Dr. Ralph BerkeleyAbout Ralph Berkeley

Ralph G. Berkeley, M.D., is included in the prestigious list of top surgeons nationwide in refractive and cataract surgery. Dr. Berkeley has been honored by his peers as one of the “Best Doctors in America.” Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology since 1961, Dr. Berkeley is recognized as a pioneer in refractive surgery. He began performing refractive surgery in 1979 and has performed many thousands of procedures.

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