Getting ready for an upcoming vacation? Don’t forget to pack your shades! Sunglasses may be a fashion accessory, but they also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Just like your skin, your eyes can get sunburned too. This is called keratitis. Symptoms of this condition usually appear a few hours after the damage has occurred, and it can be pretty painful. In addition, excessive sun exposure can increase your risk of developing cataracts. UV exposure to the eyes is cumulative and often irreversible, so it’s important to keep your eyes protected whether you’re at home or on vacation.
Here are some tips that will help to keep your eyes and vision healthy while on vacation:
- Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are most responsible for causing eye damage, including cataracts. Keratitis can be prevented just by wearing the right eyewear. A good pair of sunglasses is worth the investment in protecting your eyes and vision, but they don’t need to be expensive.
- The bigger the frames, the better. You want to make sure your sunglasses are large enough to cover your eyes to prevent sunlight from getting in through the sides. Wraparound sunglasses provide maximum coverage.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat with your sunglasses for added protection.
- Polarized lenses reduce reflected glare and improve visibility. They are great if you plan on being on or near water a lot.
- Never look directly at the sun. This may sound obvious, but it is worth the reminder because doing so can cause significant damage to the eyes.
- Even when it’s cloudy, you should still wear sunglasses because there are still UV rays.
- If you have children, ensure that their eyes are also protected because their eyes transmit more UVA rays to the retina than adults.
- Do you wear contact lenses? There are some contact lenses that block UV rays. Talk to your eye doctor if you’re interested in these lenses.
- If you wear glasses most of the time, prescription sunglasses are great for when you’re on vacation. Instead of having to switch between glasses and sunglasses or having to put in contact lenses just to wear your sunglasses, prescription sunglasses allow you to see while simultaneously protecting your eyes and vision.
- With transition lenses, you’ll never have to make the switch between glasses and sunglasses. The more you switch between the two, the more likely you are to lose either. You can go from inside to outside and your transition lenses will do the work for you!
- If you wear contact lenses, be sure that they never come in contact with water to avoid contamination that can cause an infection. You should always remove your contacts before you have a shower or swim. If you choose to wear your contacts underwater, be sure to wear goggles.
- Chlorine and salt water can irritate your eyes. Eye drops can provide fast relief of eye redness, so it’s a good idea to bring some with you. Eye drops or rewetting drops (if you wear contacts) are also good if you’re on a long flight. The air on planes can be very dry, which can in turn leave your eyes feeling dry. Using the drops throughout the flight will make your eyes feel a lot more comfortable.
- Bring a backup pair of glasses and contact lenses. If something happens to either it could ruin your entire vacation. Don’t risk it. Bring extra pairs of contacts just to be on the safe side.
Taking some time to plan for your eye care needs before you go on vacation will go a long way. After all, what is the point of going to a beautiful place if you’re having eye problems or can’t see clearly? That can put a damper on your vacation. If you’ve given up on the hassle of glasses and contacts lenses, it may be time for you to consider LASIK. With LASIK you can enjoy travelling and freedom in general.
How do you take care of your eyes on vacation? Please share!