According to ophthalmology experts, up to 20% more problems related to the eyes will occur during the summer. The vast majority of them will be slight discomfort and infections.
What consequences can these types of cases have? Are they serious? Can we do something to prevent them? And to treat them? Swimming pools, the sea, lack of hygiene and other behavioral issues can lead us to suffer from any of these pathologies.
What eye problems can we find in summer
Conjunctivitis, the so-called red eyes, the burning, and burning sensation, tearing or the feeling of a foreign body inside the eye are the most common disorders associated with summer. The main reason, and almost unique, is in the pool and sea waters, but also in staying up late, tobacco smoke or the use of contact lenses.
Almost all of these actions result in discomfort and, at best, pain in the eyes. They are usually mild, and none of them, as far as is known, has permanent or serious consequences. Conjunctivitis can have its origin in bacteria, viruses or, even, by the inclusion of a foreign body, which causes the conjunctiva to swell, the transparent mucous membrane that covers the eyeball from the limbus to the conjunctival sac funds.
On more rare occasions, they can be caused by allergies. In all cases, the eyes redden sting, bother and tear. Sometimes not all the symptoms of conjunctivitis occur, but only some of them appear. In the worst cases, conjunctivitis can actually be keratitis.
Keratitis is an infection of the cornea, which can form ulcers or cause a decrease in visual acuity if it becomes severe. Keratitis is not common, although people with contact lenses or those who have suffered some type of trauma are more likely to suffer it.
Why do they appear and what consequences do they have?
Seawater, for example, is full of microorganisms. Among them, some are opportunists who, if they find the right conditions, can cause an infection. The eye is a suitable place since it is not only moist but thanks to the tear it has a higher saline concentration, which helps, slightly, for these organisms to cause infections.
On the other hand, the real problem of swimming pools is not in chlorine, but in chloramines, compounds that are generated from substances such as sweat, urine or other dirt from bathers. The harmful effects on the health of chloramines are due to their irritating potential. This causes some of the symptoms we were talking about, and it can also help an infection to occur.
Contact lenses, getting little rest and being exposed to tobacco smoke, among other agents, can open the door to infections. The eye, in these cases, dries much more and is irritated. This prevents the proper “defense” of infectious origin.
As we said, if the infection is serious, especially if we wear contact lenses, we can cause keratitis, which, if not treated properly, can cause major health problems, and even some irremediable ones.
What about the sunglasses?
As far as we know, the sun, despite its incredible harmful ability, is not the cause of major eye health diseases. There are many more important components than solar radiation, in a normal circumstance, related to serious diseases. In other words: the view does not wear out by the sun.
Wearing sunglasses and protecting our eyesight may have an aesthetic reason or for pure comfort, but they do not fall within the guidelines of good visual hygiene. Despite the widespread cultural heritage, we have no reason to think that not wearing sunglasses during the summer means no harm to our eyes.
So what should we prevent?
To ensure good health in our vision, the best we can do is worry about good visual hygiene. This means that we must sleep the necessary hours; keep your eyes moist, blinking properly and avoiding being exposed to hot dry air.
We must also ensure that there are no foreign bodies left in the eye, although the discomfort will not let us think of anything else. This is especially important when we dive into the sea. A simple solution is to wear diving goggles.
Do not use contact lenses longer than indicated, and make sure we clean them properly and with the serum in good condition. We must also avoid heavily polluted atmospheres, especially full of smoke and other particles.
Finally, good nutrition is essential for our health, and this also includes eye health. If we consume quality food, with sufficient amounts of vitamins and micronutrients necessary we will make sure to help our eyes stay healthy.