The sun, the salty sea water or chlorinated water from the pool, the beach - everything we encounter on vacation can be harmful to our eyes. How can we take care of them and come back with only pleasant memories after vacation?
Can the sun's radiation damage your eyesight?
Yes, excessive amounts of sunlight can be harmful to the eyes, mainly because of one of its components, ultraviolet light. In small amounts, it is not dangerous. But prolonged intense exposure to UV radiation is detrimental to vision. Increases the risk of age-related yellow spot degeneration.
The process is as follows: high-energy radiation (or actually its blue-violet spectrum) is focused in the central part of the retina, that is, in the macula. There it acts on the visual pigment melanopsin.
Although UV light does not affect the quality of vision, it does cause the formation of free radicals, which damage the yellow spot cells.
The yellow spot has no ability to regenerate, so the damage is unfortunately irreversible. Prolonged exposure to the sun can even cause the yellow spot to burn. UV radiation also affects the formation of other diseases, such as cataracts or pterygium. However, the most common result of excessive exposure can be eye strain, irritation, dryness, poor or blurred vision, or lacrimation. Solar conjunctivitis and keratitis are also common.
You can support eye protection with an appropriate diet or supplements - I recommend mostly foods or preparations containing lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids that act as natural internal UV filters. They also have antioxidant properties, so they reduce the negative effects of free radicals. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and Brussels sprouts contain the most lutein and zeaxanthin.
Orange peppers and egg yolks are also excellent sources of these substances. It is also worth taking care to include in your diet foods that are good sources of other antioxidants, such as vitamins E, A, C and minerals, mainly zinc, manganese and selenium. So in the summer you should eat as many fruits and vegetables, nuts and healthy fish as possible. And did you know that you should add an egg to your salad! thanks to this addition, the carotenoids present in the food are absorbed nine times better!
You should also use moisturizing drops on sunny days - although they won't have a protective effect, they will help relieve eye irritation caused by being in the sun. Wearing a baseball cap is also recommended - it's a good way to reduce your eyes' exposure to UV radiation. However, good sunglasses are the best protection from the sun.
What should you pay attention to when choosing sunglasses?
Approvals and certifications (e.g. CE, EN, ISO) and UV protection level labeling are key. If this is expressed as a percentage; 100% protection is of course better. This will also guarantee glasses marked with the UV 400 nm symbol. However, the color or degree of darkening of the lenses does not matter. Even clear lenses will protect us from UV - provided, of course, that they have the appropriate filter.
It is worth choosing models with polarization, especially if we play sports or drive a car. Thanks to this extra layer on the glasses we will see more clearly. Remember not to buy glasses in bazaars or stalls! Wearing lenses bought in such places can be dangerous-you never know what glasses are made of and whether they will really protect your eyes.
How do you take care of eyes irritated by salt water or chlorinated pool water?
It is worth carrying a medication such as artificial tears, which relieves the symptoms of irritation. Don't forget to drink the right amount of water, which also affects the production of the right amount of tears and the quality of the tear film.
You can temporarily help yourself by, for example, compressing your eyes with black tea bags.
In summer, barley is more common on the eyelids. What methods of combating this disease would you recommend? It is advisable to simply go to the doctor - remember that your family doctor can also treat barley. Warm compresses at home should help.