We all love spending time outside in our beautiful capital city- especially during our highly anticipated and short-lasting summers! With Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, Gatineau Park and many other beautiful spaces just a short distance away, there is never a shortage of fun activities to take part in.
However, if you are going to spend lots of time in the sun you need to remain protected- just as you would with sunscreen! There are many long and short term effects to your eyes if you do not properly ensure your safety.
Some short-term effects are:
❏ Eye strain caused by glare from the sun. This is most common in people who are spending a prolonged amount of time by waterfronts or near snowscapes, as UV rays are amplified by the reflection of the water and snow.
❏ Sunburn on your eyes; without the right coverage your eyes may experience a sunburn. The symptoms with this include dry eye and eye strain.
Some long-term effects are:
❏ Cataracts- just as the harsh UV rays from the sun can prematurely age your skin, it can also age your eyes. This is much more long term and if you are spending prolonged periods in the sun with little to no protection.
❏ Macular degeneration- A condition involving the back part of your eye that could lead to permanent vision loss. UV is a known risk factor for developing this condition.
❏ Pinguecula AKA “Surfers Eye” is characterized by a small bump that forms on the white part of your eye and is most common in swimmers, (obviously) surfers and any person who spends a lot of time in the sun. In other words, any prolonged exposure to UV can lead to that.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
→ Make sure you are wearing sunglasses any time you are outdoors- even if it is cloudy but bright, the overcast can still emit UV rays
→ Never stare directly into the sun, even if it’s a once in 30 year solar eclipse!
Make sure your sunglasses are the right type for you- there should be maximum coverage
→ Polarized lenses are recommended for those spending time near water or snow to help reduce the glare
→ Ensure you are wearing sunscreen on your face and eyelids to protect the skin around your eyes as well
To ensure the health of your eyes, it is recommended to get a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years, depending on your age and prescription. We are back to offering exams 7 days a week at our clinic.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 613-216-6076 to book yourself in for an appointment!
See you soon!