Be Eye Safety Conscious: 5 Ways To Prevent Common Eye Irritations

We know to wash our hands frequently throughout the day to avoid germs and infection, but what about our eyes? We can’t exactly splash water in them every few hours, but if you’ve ever suffered from an eye infection, you know what a painful – and annoying – experience it can be. That’s why we want to help you understand five easy ways to prevent common eye infections. We’re the safety glasses experts, so we know a thing or two about what it takes to protect our eyes!

#1: Keep Pets From Licking Your Face

We know it’s so adorable to have Fido or Miss Whiskers licking your face, but those same “kisses” can result in an easy eye infection. You don’t know where your pet’s mouth has been, so play it safe and discourage your pet from licking your face. After playing with your pet, be sure to wash your hands so that you don’t accidentally touch your eyes.

#2: Avoid Chemical Or Dust Splashes

This is our specialty here at Safety Glasses USA, and you’d be surprised by how many people call us up to order a pair of safety glasses and explain that the eye infection or injury unfortunately came first – and now, they’ll always be wearing safety glasses. Safety glasses, like our Polarized Safety Glasses, are designed to look stylish and frame your face comfortably, but most of all – they go a major way towards protecting your valuable vision.

#3: Think Eye Safety At The Beach

You’ve got your sunscreen, bestseller, and beach blanket tucked away in your tote bag – but don’t forget to pack Safety Sunglasses! Don’t worry – these aren’t the clear goggles you had in chemistry class, they’re designed to look great on your face as you relax on the beach. It’s very common for a gust of wind to blow sand up in your eyes, an ocean wave to send salt right into your peepers, or the bright sun’s rays to weaken your vision. Safety sunglasses make the beach safe, and most importantly, fun!

#4: Office Desk Germs

A 2002 University of Arizona study showed that there were 100x more bacteria per square inch on an office desk than an office toilet seat. Just think about how many times you reach up to touch your eyes at work – all of that bacteria is now in contact with your eyes. Commit to being conscious of eye-touching, and keep anti-bacterial desk wipes on your desk to wipe your desk clean every morning and evening.

#5: Take Care With Contacts

You know how vital it is to take out your contacts before sleeping and to clean them regularly, but here’s a few additional safety tips that can make a world of difference as a contact wearer:

  • Applying eye makeup? Put your contact lenses on first, and use only non-allergenic makeup, like Almay or Clinique, according to AllAboutVision.com. Be sure to replace eye makeup about every three months.
  • When swimming or relaxing in a hot tub, take your contact lenses out right after and clean them. This prevents any bacteria from the pool or hot tub from staying on the contacts and coming into contact with your eyes.
  • Have some contact lens solution still in your case? Discard it! Always clean with new solution – never “top off” the solution already in there.

Eye accidents can always happen, but being cognizant on ways to protect our vision can make an impact on reducing common eye infections and irritations. Have you ever experienced an eye infection? What preventative measures would you have taken in advance?

How the Sun Effects Our Eyes: An Interview with an Optometrist

Revo Transom Titanium Sunglasses with Polished Brown Frame and Polarized Bronze Lens

Revo Transom Titanium Sunglasses with Polished Brown Frame and Polarized Bronze Lens

Last week, National Public Radio’s WGVU Morning Show host, Shelly Irwin, interviewed nationally renown optometrist Dr. Gary Anderson about the effects of the sun on our eyes.

Sorry to spoil the punch line, but Dr. Anderson’s bottom line is this: Wear high-quality, polarized sunglasses with 99% – 100% UVA and UVB protection, year-round, even when it’s cloudy, especially if you’re under 18 years old.

Why?
The accumulated effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage our eyes in exactly the same way they damage our skin. And, according to Dr. Anderson, all the layers of the eye can and will be effected by this accumulated exposure to UV:

  • The first layer to receive the harmful effects of sunlight is, logically, the top layer, called the cornea. When too many hours of sunlight cause our eyes feel dry and itchy, this is inflammation of the cornea (keratitis). This irritation can make our eyes ache if we’ve been outside all day without proper or adequate eye protection.
  • The next surface of the eye damaged by UV light is the lens. The more UV exposure the lens receives, the earlier it will form cataracts. Cataracts are the grey-blue clouding that obstructs the passage of light to the retina. Only surgical removal of this clouding can restore a patient’s vision. Fortunately, today’s modern cataract surgery implants interocular lenses with built-in UV protection.
  • Even the deepest layer of the eye, the macula, can be injured by UV rays. This is a yellow spot near the center of the retina at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration — the breakdown of this tissue — is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults over the age of 50 and is the direct result of accumulated, over-exposure to sunlight over the course of a lifetime.

Who Needs Extra Eye Protection?
Everyone should wear high quality sunglasses with 99% – 100% UVA and UVB protection. However, in our first 18 years, 50% of our lifetime exposure to sunlight takes place. Therefore, Dr. Anderson says babies should start wearing quality sunglasses no later than six months old — because their eye tissue is even more sensitive to the effects of UV light than adults’ — and children and teens should wear quality sunglasses consistently throughout childhood. (Note: Dr. Anderson also stresses of importance of explaining to children that they should never look directly at the sun, because doing so focuses the UV light directly on the back of the eye like a magnifying glass, which could actually burn a hole through the retina. So be sure to tell your kids: never, never stare into the sun, even during an eclipse.)

People taking certain medications may also experience increased UV eye sensitivity. Some common prescriptions which cause this effect include:

  • tetracyclines (a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics)
  • sulfa drugs
  • diuretics
  • tranquilizers
  • birth control pills

What’s the Best Protection?
Again, Dr. Anderson recommends good sunglasses that absorb 99% – 100% of ultraviolet A and B rays, as well as 75% – 90 % of visible light. Visible light is not UV, but simply the brightness — the glare — which polarization takes care of.

Dr. Anderson goes on to explain: “You might find a stylish pair of sunglasses at the Marathon station for $3 that keeps out the brightness, but they won’t protect you from the UV rays. Those sunglasses will actually damage your eyes more than wearing no sunglasses at all, because when you put them on, your pupils get bigger — because they’re receiving less light — but that simply lets in more UV which isn’t being blocked at all. So yes, you’re going to pay more for a good pair of sunglasses. The $3 ones won’t cut it.”

Additional sun protection for your eyes include:

  • A hat with a brim, like a baseball cap or a wide brim hat, cuts down on direct light coming from above
  • Ultraviolet-blocking soft contact lenses
  • Clear prescription eyeglasses that have an added UV-protection layer

Dr. Anderson’s Final Thoughts – “Don’t forget … “

 

  • On the water, sand, and snow, your UV exposure is doubled because of the reflected rays coming into your eyes from both above and below
  • The effects from the sun are worse in southern states and the closer you are to the equator
  • UV effects are worse at high altitudes where there’s less atmosphere to diffract and absorb it
  • Wear quality sunglasses year-round. Sometimes we think when it’s cloudy we don’t have to worry about it, but UV goes right through clouds