Four Ways Summer Heat Affects Your Eyes
Warm weather increases your chances of experiencing multiple conditions.
Enjoying some extra sunlight this summer is a goal many of us share, and while having fun this season is by no means a bad thing, it is important to be aware of how the warmer weather can impact your eye health so you may plan accordingly. Here are some of the main ways that the return of high temperatures can affect your eyes.
Unfortunately, the arrival of summer brings with it the arrival of peak allergy season. Pollen of all varieties are abundant at this time, along with other pollutants that result from rising temperatures, and our eyes often bear the brunt of these irritants. As the heat begins to turn up in earnest, you can expect a greater frequency of red, itchy, and watery eyes.
The heat, in addition to activating allergen-spreading plants, also increases your chances of developing dry eyes. Both of your eyes are coated with tear film, a multi-layered natural solution that provides lubrication and protection. In warmer weather, your tear film evaporates more quickly, depriving your eyes of moisture and leading to uncomfortable dryness.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a condition in which inflammation turns your eye a reddish color and makes it swollen and itchy. A common cause of conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction to a foreign body that reaches your eye. Because contact with allergens is more likely to happen in the summer, the odds of contracting pink eye are far greater than they are during the other seasons.
Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Damage
Although UV rays are present year round, they are more powerful during the spring and summer months due to the direct angle of the sun on the planet. Exposure to UV rays can lead to several negative eye conditions down the line, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, photokeratitis, and more. Many of these conditions can even lead to blindness, making UV protection (i.e. sunglasses) a must-have during this time.
Although the possibility of experiencing these (and other) negative eye conditions is greater in the summer, you should still be able to enjoy this time of year to the fullest as long as you take the proper precautions against allergens and other risks. Our experts at Sterling Vision are ready to share their knowledge with you about protecting your eyes this season and addressing many other concerns. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.