Eye health issues during summer and expert tips to prevent them | Health


With summer comes a lot of heat and dry winds and a lot of dust and pollen where heat causes faster tear evaporation and dust causes allergy making our eyes extremely vulnerable to summer. As summer is approaching, our body gets more vulnerable to heat strokes and dehydration.

Eye health issues during summer and expert tips to prevent them (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels)

You’ll be taking extra care of your skin but don’t forget to take care of your eyes from the dry, dusty, hot weather. Your eyes are extremely vulnerable to summer heat as well.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Prabhakar GV, Consultant-Cornea, Cataract, Lasik at Sankara Eye Hospital in Hyderabad, revealed some of the common eye problems due to the extreme heat –

  • Dry Eyes: The heat causes faster tear evaporation making eyes more prone for dryness. It results in irritation and often, a burning sensation in your eyes. This can be avoided by using artificial tear drops and decreasing screen time.
  • Allergies: The humidity combined with elevated temperature and dust leads to various eye allergies. The common symptoms of an allergic reaction in the eyes are itching, redness, inflammation, and irritation. This can be prevented by using sunglasses to avoid dust, also ensure that eye rubbing should be totally avoided.
  • Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, caused by a virus or bacteria. This is very contagious and can be eluded by maintaining good hygiene.
  • Lid Stye: Caused by a bacterial infection, a Stye is the swelling in one or both eyelids accompanied by pain and redness commonly seen in children. This needs doctor consultation and treatment.

He suggested the following tips to avoid summer eye diseases:

  • Maintain good personal hygiene.
  • Do not touch or rub your eyes.
  • Do not share towels, handkerchief, cosmetics etc.
  • Wear swimming goggles when swimming.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use UV protection sunglasses when going out in sun.
  • Avoid sunscreen lotion touching your eyes.

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Priyanka Singh (MBBS, MS, DNB, FAICO), Consultant and Eye Surgeon at Neytra Eye Centre in New Delhi, highlighted the the most prevalent eye issues we face and how to treat them.

  1. Allergic conjunctivitis: We receive many patients especially children during the month of April-May having serious allergic conjunctivitis. The usual symptoms are redness, itching, and a burning sensation in eyes. All these leads to inability to focus on work and studies.

Precautions to take to reduce the chances of eye allergies are –

i) Take care of eye hygiene

ii) Avoid touching your eyes frequently or rubbing them

iii) Use sunglasses while going out on two wheelers or on a dusty/ windy day.

iv) In case symptoms develop, show it to an ophthalmologist. Do not self-medicate.

2. Dry eyes: The usage of air conditioner and fan increases during summer due to which people experience the worsening of their dry eyes as a result of the low humidity in the air.

Symptoms include feeling of dryness in eyes, excessive watering, and burning sensation in eyes, pain or redness.

Precautions:

i) Keep AC and fans to tolerable level

ii) Use humidifiers while keeping AC on

iii) Lubricating eye drops to keep eyes moist

3. Conjunctivitis: As the growth of virus bacteria and pathogens are more during summers and changing weathers, people are more prone to get conjunctivitis, also known as Pink eye. Symptoms are redness of Eyes, watering, yellow discharge, pricking sensation in eyes.

Precautions:

i) Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes often

ii) Avoid sharing towels, handkerchief, and eye cosmetic once you develop conjunctivitis.

iii) Do not touch children’s eye with dirty hands.

iv) Do not use over-the-counter medication. In case you develop symptoms, it is advisable to meet an ophthalmologist.

4. Stye: It is an infection of eyelids caused by bacteria leading to a small bump on eyelids which is painful.

Precautions:

  • Avoid touching eyes with dirty hands. If you develop a style, do hot fermentation with a towel soaked in warm water and show it to an ophthalmologist for correct treatment.

5. Phototoxicity: Extreme sun rays and high temperature can cause retinal phototoxicity (can cause damage to the retina).

Precautions:

  • Try to wear sunglasses while going out between 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to protect your eyes from UV radiations, which may be very harmful to your eyes.

Additionally, she recommended some general precautions and take-home message –

  • Stay hydrated: Drink 2 to 3 litres of water in a day
  • Use sunglasses: When going out, wear sunglasses
  • Wear goggles while swimming
  • Avoid sharing Towers, Hankies, pillows and eye cosmetics.
  • Using the air conditioner moderately
  • Do not rub your eyes, especially with dirty hands
  • In case of puffiness, redness of eyes, use ice/ cooling packs or wash your eyes with cold water
  • Do not self-medicate in case of infections

Please remember, your eyes require special care during the scorching summer heat. Therefore, it is imperative to take appropriate care during the hot weather as it can cause serious eye issues. It is also advisable not to self-medicate and meet an experienced ophthalmologist in case of any eye infection or problem.



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