Flying grit from yard work, chemicals in pools, a sun that sears delicate tissues – summer is an obstacle course for your precious eyes. You can still have fun, but you may need to take some steps to protect your peepers.
1: Wear Sun Protection. Many people go to a concert or other all-day event without wearing a visor cap and sunglasses, resulting in burned corneas. You can feel fine at first, then go home, go to sleep, and wake up in an hour in excruciating pain. The hat-sunglasses combo should also be worn at the beach, amusement parks, bike rides, boating, or anyplace where there is prolonged sun exposure.
2: Wear Serious Eye Protection While Doing Home Projects. A common sight in Australia is Dad mowing the lawn and little Junior playing nearby. Both should be wearing eye protection. A flying rock could hit him but more likely will go sideways and hit someone lower to the ground nearby. Professional quality goggles from a hardware store should be worn to prevent corneal lacerations. Chopping wood, hammering nails, sawdust flying around – you should wear protection.
3: Protecting Eyes During Sports. The bigger the ball, the less likely an eye injury. Basketball is unlikely to injure eyes but baseballs and softballs can, as well as golf, squash, and tennis balls. When playing most ball sports, eye protection is warranted. Most sporting goods stores sell plastic, molded shields or masks appropriate for different sports.
4: Avoid or Protect Against Chemicals. You can jump in a pool and if your eyes sting, it may mean the chemicals aren’t balanced. This is more of a comfort issue and rarely will it affect your vision. Rinse immediately with clean water. To soothe irritated eyes, use artificial tears, not anti-redness drops. If the stinging persists for hours, you should get a doctor to take a look.
5: Protect Against Oddball Events. If you think summer is one big eye accident waiting to happen, you might be right. Consider these other threats:
Fireworks: Even professionals make mistakes with these, but leave it to them, anyway.
Injury to LASIKed eyes: Post-surgery patients need to be extra careful in general.
Insect bites around the eye: These are nasty. Don’t put repellent in your eye though.