Summer is rapidly approaching. It’s time to dust off your summer wardrobe and slap on the sun cream. As the nights get longer and we inevitably spend more time outdoors, it’s essential to consider how to stay safe and healthy throughout the summer. The sun offers Vitamin D and many other health benefits, it can even lower your cholesterol. It’s also believed that Britain is one the most Vitamin D-deprived country in the world, with citizens suffering from varying deficiencies all year round. So getting out in the sun is vital for our general wellbeing.

On the other hand, we are all reminded frequently about the risks of sun damage. It’s vital to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and stay hydrated. However, few people know that our eyes require the same level of protection as our skin. You wouldn’t think it, but UV rays leave lasting damage to the eyes that can even affect vision permanently. A number of studies have indicated that sun damage could be a leading cause of cataracts in old age. And for those of us who use glasses or daily lenses, preventing any further loss of vision is of vital importance. How do we prepare for the summer sun and keep our eyes happy? There are a few simple steps you can take for better eye health.

We're Ready For Summer! But Are Our Eyes Ready For The Sun?

Eye See You!’ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Bradley.Johnson.

Firstly, its important to get a proper pair of sunglasses. Try and find sunglasses that block out 100 per cent of UV rays. This is important, as many sunglasses on sale on the high-street focus on style over protection. The best design for ultimate sun blockage is wrap-around glasses, which also guard the peripheral vision. If you require glasses or cheap contact lenses, it’s worth considering prescription sunglasses in addition to any daily lenses. This covers your eyes from sun damage and prevents any further loss in vision. UV blocking contact lenses are available from Vision Direct, as a secure and easy eyewear solution in the summer months.

We're Ready For Summer! But Are Our Eyes Ready For The Sun?

Sunshine’ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Elīna Baltiņa

Secondly, protect eyes from chemicals. Our eyes need to be clean. They work constantly to keep themselves clear of any germs, cuts or debris by blinking and watering. However, inevitably, dangerous substances can find their way in. Chlorine, for one, which is widely used in swimming pools can cause abrasions and damage to the corneal cells. So grab some goggles if you are a keen swimmer during the summertime. Additionally, avoid getting soap in your eyes when washing. And never rub your eyes with your hands. Unwanted germs may lead to conjunctivitis.

We're Ready For Summer! But Are Our Eyes Ready For The Sun?

sunglasses’ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Pimthida

And finally, drink lots of water and get a lot of sleep. In warmer conditions, the body easily dehydrates and the eye requires water. And so, dry eye symptoms and other vision issues may arise. Likewise, research highlights that after only 18 hours of being awake, the human eye’s cognitive functions begin to slow. Thus, sleeping well is vital, especially for those who drive or spend a lot of time using their vision.

Get ready for summer and get outside. But don’t forget to take care of your eyes, and in return they’ll allow you to make the most of those summer months.