(DENVER, Colo.) — NEWS: A lot has changed for the summer of 2020, but the Colorado Optometric Association and 2020 Eyes Colorado wants everyone to know that summer eye health is still important. Colorado’s sunlight is roughly 20% brighter than at sea level and is even more intense at the top of a mountain as there is less atmosphere at higher elevations to filter out UV rays.
“Coloradans are getting outdoors much more this summer due to the pandemic closures. It’s important that when we are enjoying the outdoors that we don’t underestimate the intensity of the Colorado sun because it can negatively impact your vision,” says Sheryl Benjamin, Executive Director at the Colorado Optometric Association.
Colorado’s optometrists give eight ways to protect your eyes this summer:
1. Wear UVA/UVB Blocking Sunglasses
Your eyes can get sunburned. It’s true and it’s all too common in the bright Colorado sun. Grab a pair of 100% UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses and wear them when outside to protect your eyes from sunburn. Some Coloradans pair sunglasses with a hat for even more UV protection. Make sure the brim is at least 3 inches wide for good coverage. Start kids off right by protecting their eyes early on with a hat and sunglasses. Bonus, tiny sunglasses are cute!
2. Wear Swim Goggles
Chlorine is rough on the eyes so be sure to protect them with swim goggles. Typically, chlorine exposure in a pool will dry out your eyes and make them temporarily red. However, conjunctivitis/pink eye is a common infection for swimmers as it spreads easily in the water. Make sure those goggles are sealed well!
3. Wear a Hat
A hat is a great addition to sunglasses for increased eye protection. Wearing a hat will shade additional parts of the eyeball and skin around the eyes. It’s also a great runner up if you forget sunglasses as you’re headed out on the trail.
4. Clean Hands Make Healthy Eyes
Yes, washing hands and avoiding face touching is important for eye health and overall health. Hand washing is even more essential during the pandemic, but it was also significant before COVID-19 to prevent the transmission of disease and illness that can enter through touching your eyes and face. Plus, washing your hands reduces your risk of contracting conjunctivitis/pink eye any time of year!
5. Eye Protection for DIY Projects/Activities and Sports
Be sure to wear safety glasses for DIY projects and high-risk activities like sports or lighting fireworks. These high-risk moments can quickly go awry with an unexpected eye injury. Make sure each individual on the project has protective glasses.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is very common in the dry Colorado summers, but is easy to avoid. Dehydration can impact the body’s ability to create tears and then can cause vision issues. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water consistently throughout the day. Be sure to bring plenty of water for those outdoor activities!
7. Get Sleep!
Humans do better with a good night’s sleep and eyes are no different. When and individual doesn’t get enough sleep it impacts visual acuity. When this happens, the individual may need to catch up on sleep or may need to rest their eyes for a while.
8. Get an Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam
Keep eyes healthy with a comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist. An annual eye exam gives a better look at overall physical health. It will also allow for early detection of eye related diseases and non-eye related health issues. The Center for Disease Control states that, “Of the estimated 61 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. Regular eye care can have a life-changing impact on preserving the vision of millions of people.” Find a trusted Colorado optometrist today!
About the Colorado Optometric Association (COA):
The Colorado Optometric Association (COA) is the professional organization of optometrists in Colorado. Over 600 Colorado Doctors of Optometry are voluntary members of the Association. COA has also launched a public health campaign called 2020 Eyes Colorado – https://2020eyescolorado.org/.
Since 1892, the COA has assisted its members in providing the highest standard of professional care to their patients by sponsoring continuing education programs for doctors, advocating in local and state governments for programs and laws that represent patients’ best interests, and providing information for the public. For more information, please visit http://www.visioncare.org/ or call 303-863-9778.
Related link: https://colorado.aoa.org/
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