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Published On: Thu, Jun 27th, 2013

Ophthalmologists give eye safety tips for the summertime

With summertime upon us, many people are spending more time outdoors involved inj a variety of activities.

The ophthalmologists at Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia are reminding the public to protect their eyes from common hazards that are not always that obvious to remember. They say damaging eye injuries are more common this time of the year because of increased time spent outside involved in activities which can result in decreased or permanent vision loss.

Public domain image/ Aarynne at the wikipedia project

Public domain image/ Aarynne at the wikipedia project

 “We are frequently reminded to protect our bodies from the sun and injuries, but too often the eyes are neglected,” said Ann Murchison, MD, MPH, of Wills Eye Hospital and Co-Director of the Emergency Department. “Each summer we routinely see an uptick in the ER of burns, lacerations, irritations and other sight threatening injuries which are preventable. Simple precautionary measures including wearing protective eye gear for yard work, sports, or while in the sun will minimize your chances for eye injuries and problems.” Dr. Murchison added.

The Wills Eye Institute offers several eye safety tips to help protect yourself this summer:

  • Use the essential combination of wearing sunscreen, UVA/UVB sunglasses and a brimmed hat to protect your eyes from sunlight, even on cloudy days. Remember that advice especially when boating, biking, being on the beach, or at amusement parks. Skin cancers are common in and around the eyes and prolonged sun exposure to your eyes may increase your chances of getting cataracts.
  • When doing any home improvement project, yard work, or playing sports, wear appropriate protective eyewear to minimize exposure to small flying objects like rocks when mowing the lawn or weed whacking.
    When celebrating 4th of July, avoid handling fireworks of any kind, enjoy them from a distance and leave it to the professionals.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water during these hot summer days. What’s good for your body also has a direct benefit to your eyes as well.
  • Contact lenses: Consider changing to daily disposable lenses to eliminate the need for cleaning and disinfecting solutions and minimize the chance for infection or irritations. Lake or pond water can get underneath the contact lens and start an infection. When swimming with contact lenses, wear goggles too. Don’t sleep in lenses and always remember to have a back- up pair of glasses.
  • If you have eye allergies, first check with your doctor, but consider starting with over-the-counter antihistamine drops to soothe your itchy eyes. Artificial tears and cool compresses are also often helpful.
    Your vision matters – if an eye injury does occur, do not delay in seeking care.

Wills Eye Institute is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care.

Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  4. Pine 4 Better Daze says:

    The ophthalmologists quoted in your article give good advise but it isn’t the end of the
    world if you do need cataract surgery. I had cataract surgery in recent years (2008 & 2011) and with implants of intraocular lens I can drive without glasses again at the age of
    75. I had excellent vision when I was in high school (20/15) but by the time I was 40 I
    became near sighted and had to wear glasses to drive. I seldom wore sunglasses but did
    spend a great deal of time outdoors all those years…

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