Summertime beckons us outside and welcomes workouts in the bright sunlight. But the sun’s intense UV rays can harm your eyes if you are not careful. When applying sunscreen on your face and body before a morning run or afternoon swim, you might not think that your eyes need just as much protection from the sun, pool, and air pollutants. Below are four ways you can protect your eyes this summer.
How to Protect Your Eyes
1. Wear UV Sunglasses
The sunny, bright weather can reflect off of the pool, sand, or ocean and shine directly into your eyes. This can cause sunburn of the eye, or photokeratitis. Wear sunglasses marked with 100% UV protection in order to avoid irritation, redness, or blurriness from an eye sunburn. Sunglasses without the proper protection may actually cause more damage to your eyes than wearing none at all.
Good news: you also do not have to pay top dollar for this kind of eye care protection. You can purchase cheaper pairs of sunglasses as long as they offer full protection from the sun’s UV rays.
2. Cover all Angles
Add an extra layer of protection and wear a hat or a visor while working out in the sun. That way you can ensure you have full coverage from all angles of the reaching rays. Think about wearing sunglasses that wrap around your eyes as well. Sports sunglasses work really well and do not slip off of your face when you start to sweat. The wider the lens, the safer your eyes will be from harm. Do not take your hat or glasses off when the clouds start to roll in either as UV rays can still pierce their way through the clouds.
3. Wear Swim Goggles
While chlorinated pools are meant to keep you safe and clean from any pollutants, the chemicals can dry out and irritate your eyes by tearing down your eyes’ natural tear film. If you have noticed red or itchy eyes after a day at the pool, then you have experienced these effects firsthand. Whether you're about to tear up the lane with laps or cool down in the water after a strenuous workout, try wearing swim goggles when you jump in the water. Once out of the pool, find a sink or shower and splash fresh water on your face and hair to make sure the chlorine does not drip down into your eyes. This will also protect your hair from drying out as well!
4. Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoke, whether first or secondhand, can waft up towards your face and quickly dry out your eyes. The more you remain in contact with it, the more prone you will be to contracting eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Quit smoking or stop spending time around people while they smoke in order to defend and promote healthy, moist eyes.