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Jeepers Peepers - Tips For Healthy Eyes During Summer

Summer Eye Care Summer is here, and for some, summer is year 'round. For those that enjoy a warmer climate, it is important they take good care of their eyes. UV radiation from the sun can cause serious damage to your vision. That is just one reason you should learn ways to protect your eyes on sunny days.

Do not think sunglasses alone are enough however, to protect your eyes. Follow these tips to make sure your eyes are summer ready:

  • Make sure you get a health check up yearly. Many underlying health conditions can predispose your eyes to damage from the sun, or vision problems in general. One example is diabetes. An annual medical exam and trip to the eye doctor will help prevent disease before it has time to sink in.
  • Make sure you have your eyes checked by your eye doctor regularly, and have them dilated at least once every few eye visits to rule out diseases like diabetes. When caught during its early stages, diabetes treatment can help prevent serious complications including diabetic retinopathy, a disease that may lead to blindness during its advanced stages.
  • If your doctor suggests you have problems with your vision, or early stage diabetes or other medical conditions, make sure you follow their advice for proper treatment. Your doctor does know best.
  • Become aware of any medications you take that may make your eyes or your body more sensitive to the sun. If you are sensitive, take proper precautions.
  • Do not buy sunglasses unless they provide UV protection, otherwise they will not provide your peepers much in the way of sun protection. You can even get regular eyeglasses these days with UV protection built into the lenses, color-free even!
  • Buy sunglasses that fully cover your eyes and the surrounding area. Those small, tiny round frames may look cute, but if you find you still have to squint while wearing your glasses, chances are they are not providing you with the sun protection you need.
  • While protecting your eyes, do not forget to protect your body. Whole body health is just as important to your eyes as eye protection. Slather on the sun block, and do not use less than an SPF 15. If you are smart, you will use an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • A suntan is not a sign you are protected from the sun; it is a sign the sun already damaged your skin, and possibly your eyes.
  • Make sure you wear sunglasses when driving, because UV radiation can penetrate the windows of your car.
  • Wear a wider brim hat when you go out. This will shade your eyes and your face, doubling up on your sun protection.
  • Wear your sunglasses even if you lay out with your eyes closed. UV penetrates anything, even skin.
  • Wear clothing with UV protection built in. This will help protect your entire body.
  • Do not forget to wear protective eyewear during the winter. UV radiation exists year 'round.
  • If skiing, wear protective masks to keep your eyes from drying out. Dry eyes are a common problem.
  • If you drive a motorcycle, always make sure you wear protective eyeglasses. If you wear a helmet (and you should) get one that allows you to see, but one that allows you to shield your eyes from the sun too.
  • Avoid staying out in the sun if you can during the hottest and more dangerous times of the day (usually between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • If you have a job requiring you work outdoors, see if your employer will chip in to buy protective eyewear for you and your coworkers. If you find you have trouble convincing your employer, contact OSHA. See the link below for more information.
  • Always have a pair of extra sunglasses handy, even if they are the cheap ones, in case you break yours.
  • Encourage your children to wear sunglasses at an early age, when their eyes are more likely to experience damage from the sun.
  • If you burn your lids or the area around your eyes, visit your eye doctor for a check-up to make sure you haven't done too much damage to your eyes.
Remember, eye protection is important all year long. It does not matter whether it is hot or cold out. You can burn on a cloudy day just as you can on a sunny one. Your eyes need UV protection just like your body needs sun block.

If you want more information on finding protective eyewear at work, visit the following site for more information:

Occupational Safety & Health Information, U.S. Department of Health

For the link to the main web page, just go to:
http://www.osha.gov/ Use the search button to find more information on what you need.

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