What to watch out for during the summer months?

BRIGHT SUNSHINE

Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can cause cataract and exceptionally also retinal damage. Sunlight can also cause skin cancer to the eyelids and the conjunctiva. While shopping for sunglasses, most Czechs still prefer the price against the quality and they thus risk visual impairment. Sunglasses without a UV filter may be more harmful to the eyes than no sunglasses at all. Under the dark glasses the pupils dilate and the eyes thus become reached by more sun beams which can lead to damage the eyes unless these are protected by a high-quality UV filter. In addition, if the sunglasses are not appropriately shaped, the UV light can be reflected in the eyes at a higher level from the back of the glasses.

SUMMER INJURIES

The number of injuries during the summer months increases, the injuries do not avoid the eyes. The most common ones include injuries by a sharp object or a tree branch, a blow to the eye with a ball during sports, falls onto various objects, as well as eye burns. For serious injuries it is important to adhere to the first-aid rules. For example, in case of a chemical attack, the eye must be rinsed out as soon as possible and you should consult a specialist at the earliest opportunity. Objects stuck in the eye should not be pulled out. Do not delay the visit to the doctor even with seemingly minor injuries. The sooner the treatment begins, the lower the risk of permanent visual impairment.

SWIMMING AND BATHING

One of the greatest risks to human vision is swimming in ponds and public swimming pools. Almost 90 percent of stagnant water in the Czech Republic is infected with cyanobacteria. Bathing in water heavily infested with cyanobacteria can cause conjunctivitis or corneal inflammation, the treatment of such inflammations is complicated, in addition, they can permanently damage your vision. Cyanobacteria are particularly dangerous for young children, elderly people, pregnant women, allergy sufferers and contact lens wearers. When bathing in nature, a foreign body, such as fine sand, can also get into the eye; while swimming in pools, your eyes can appear to be exceptionally sensitive to chlorinated water. Therefore it is good to rinse your eyes with tap water, or even use artificial tears that rinse the eye, get rid of any dirt and thus to calm your irritated eyes.

CONTACT LENSES AND WATER

About every third Czech with vision problems wears contacts. During the summer, you should reach for lenses with a UV filter. The disposable ones are more suitable for water. During bathing it is better to use disposable contact lenses and not to open your eyes when swimming underwater without swimming goggles. Viral or bacterial infections may get under the contact lens in the water. After bathing with contact lenses, it is best to discard those. If a person swims longer with his head above the water level, it is better to wear sunglasses because more sunlight is reflected into their face and eyes from the water.

SUMMER WITH A BOOK

Sunglasses are the foundation for your eye protection! Your eyes should always be protected from harmful UV radiation, even when you read. It is essential to choose some quality sunglasses. Category 3 sunglasses are best suited for the use at the sea. When reading books in bright sunlight, your eyes may get irritated and start to hurt – that is because the rays reflect off the white paper.

BARBEQUES

Even during barbequing, which you will not avoid during the summer season, your eyes might become seriously damaged. Hot ashes can fall into your eyes and burn them. Apart from the eyelid skin, the ashes can burn the conjunctiva or the cornea. It is dangerous to burn the cornea because it can cause permanent impairment of vision, in extreme cases even blindness. Of course, burns are associated with an unpleasant eye irritation and pain.