UAE: Going for a swim during Eid weekend? Doctor warns residents of eye health issues this summer

Here are six tips to take care of your eyes as you head out with family and friends during the long weekend


Angel Tesorero

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

KT file photo
KT file photo

Published: Wed 28 Jun 2023, 3:47 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Jun 2023, 6:49 PM

With summer and the long Eid Al Adha weekend upon us, many residents are going out visiting relatives and friends, or doing long drives to cooler places like wadis and the mountains. People also cool off by hanging out at rooftop or backyard pools or by the beach.

Spending quality time outdoors is fun but doctors also remind us to protect our body from the harmful effects of sun rays.

Proper eye protection is essential, according to Dr Mohammad Hadi Mohebzadeh, eye and lasik specialist at Saudi German Hospital Dubai.

Here are 8 tips he shared for us to follow to keep our eyes protected this summer.

1. Wear sunglasses with complete ultraviolet (UV) protection

Sunglasses are essential during summer. Make sure you are wearing sunglasses that are marked with 100 per cent UV protection. UV protection helps block the harmful UV rays and keep eyes healthy.

2. Be wary of eye sunburn

File photo
File photo

Sunburned eyes, also known as photokeratitis, is a painful eye condition that occurs when your eye is exposed to UV rays — either from the sun or from a man-made source. This can happen when sunlight shines off the water, sand, snow, or other highly reflective surfaces into your eyes. These UV rays burn the surface of your eye and can cause pain, redness, blurriness, and even temporary vision loss. To prevent photokeratitis, wear 100 per cent UV protection sunglasses when outdoors.

3. Keep your eyes moisturised

When outdoors, the heat and dry winds can irritate your eyes and can cause a condition called dry eye. The summer environment affects the tear film of the eye, drying out your eye’s surface. Dry eye is a common condition but you’re at a higher risk of experiencing dry eye if you wear contact lenses or suffer from seasonal allergies. To protect your eyes in these conditions, use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist and refreshed.

4. Follow best swimming practices

Bodies of water — such as lakes and even swimming pools — can be contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms. This makes it very risky to wear contact lenses while swimming because the organisms can get underneath the contacts and cause an infection. Goggles can reduce the contamination and irritation, but it’s still a best practice to splash your eyes with fresh water after getting out of the pool.

5. Keep sunscreen out of your eyes

There’s a high chance you will get sunscreen or bug spray in your eyes. So, try to apply sunscreen very carefully and slowly around your face. Try to avoid your eyes and eyelids. Dermatologists recommend using mineral-based sunscreens because they stick to your skin and are less likely to run into your eyes. If you do get sunscreen in your eyes, use fresh water to flush them out immediately.

6. Eat healthy

This is actually a year-round advice: Eat fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, melon, and peaches are great sources of healthy nutrients for your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids benefit your eyes as well, so don’t forget to eat your seeds and nuts. Always drink plenty of water during the summer. Dehydration causes eye strain, which in turn can lead to blurry vision and blurred vision headaches.

More eye care tips

Dr. Elisa Carreras Bertran, ophthalmologist at Barraquer Eye Hospital in Dubai, also shared the following eye care tips:

1. Stay hydrated, especially during summer. Lack of water can exacerbate eye dryness.

2. Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses and caps. Ultraviolet rays can cause cataracts to progress and damage your retina.

3. Sleep minimum of 6 hours to keep your eyes rested and fresh.

4. Eat food rich on omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, as well as vitamins E and C. Choose greens, leafy vegetables, blue fish, nuts, etc.

5. Keep moving and do physical exercise, not just for your eyes but for the rest of your body.

6. Quit smoking or avoid being surrounded by smokers. Tobacco harms eye tissue and the rest of our organs.

7. Control your sugar levels. High sugar levels can damage your retina and cause irreversible loss of sight.

8. Don’t rub your eyes, use eye lubricants instead. Rubbing eyes is related with progression of astigmatism.


More news from Lifestyle