5 Ways to Protect Your Eyes This Summer
Summer is here and while we’re all now conditioned to be sun-safe when it comes to our skin, we often don’t think about protecting our eyes from the harsh Australian sun.
Just as exposure to UV light is harmful for our skin and can cause premature ageing, without the right protection, our eyes are exposed to the same risks too. Over time harmful UV rays can damage our eyes and increase our risk of developing conditions such macular degeneration and cataracts.
Here are our 5 top tips, to help reduce the risk of eye damage this summer!
1) Get some cool sunnies
Sunglasses are the obvious form of eye protection in bright sunlight, but did you know that even on a cloudy day your eye is still exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB? When buying sunglasses, make sure you choose a pair that offers 100% UVA and UVB protection.
2) Add a hat
Pair your sunglasses with a wide brimmed hat. Wearing a hat not only helps protects your face from sun damage, it also protects your eyes. If your sunglasses don’t wrap around your face, then wearing a wide brimmed hat can help prevent those harmful rays getting through.
3) Eat your veggies
Have you ever heard that eating carrots will help you to see in the dark? Studies have shown that this isn’t just a trick parents use on kids to get them to eat their vegetables. Foods such as carrot, kale, spinach and swiss chard, broccoli, eggs, papayas, corn, oranges, red and yellow capsicum are rich Lutein and Zeaxanthin, key carotenoid antioxidants that help the eye to filter out harmful blue and UV light and act as natural sunglasses. Our bodies don’t produce Lutein and Zeaxanthin so we have to get them from our diet or through supplement forms.
4) Use goggles
Frequent exposure to chlorine in swimming polls can not only cause sting but can negatively affect the protective layer around your cornea. If this layer is damaged, there is and increased risk of infections and irritants entering the eye. To help counteract this, wear a secure fitting pair of googles and splash your closed with clean fresh water after swimming.
5) Know your facts
Clouds don’t block UV light so it is still important to protect your eyes on a cloudy day. When the sun comes out sunlight is strongest between midday to early afternoon and is more intense when reflected off snow or water, so make sure you are giving your eyes the protection they deserve.
Abdel-Aai el-SM, Akhtar H, Zaheer K, Ali R. Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health. Nutrients. 2013 Apr 9;5(4):1169-85. doi: 10.3390/nu5041169.
Olaf Sommerburgb, Jan E E Keunenc, Alan C Birdd, Frederik J G M van Kuijka. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. British Journal of Opthamology