Along with enjoying summer's dazzling sunshine and gorgeous blue sky, it is also important to take appropriate and effective care of your eyes. This is because, during this season, there is a higher risk of exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays and many other risks. One such risk is developing a cataract. Dr Pradeep Aggarwal, Senior Consultant, Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, gives tips to prevent and manage cataracts during summer.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a whitish or cloudy patch that develops in an individual's eye lens, causing a blurred or foggy vision. It is the most common reason for visual impairment in the world.
The cataract can occur in one or both eyes and affect the light passing through the lens. The lens is usually clear and allows light to pass through the retina at the back of the eye. However, cataract makes the lens opaque, and as the size or number of cataract increases, the eye progressively deteriorates as less light can enter the lens.
Cataract usually occurs due to the ageing of the eyes because the lens tends to lose its elasticity. The tissues in the lens break down and accumulate, causing the lens to become cloudy. Besides this, a cataract can also be caused by exposure to UV radiation on hot and sunny days.
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Prevention And Management Of Cataracts In Summer
To prevent and manage a cataract in summer, here are some tips you can follow:
Wear Sunglasses for UV Protection
You should protect your eyes from UV rays to prevent a cataract and macular degeneration. The best way is always to wear sunglasses while going out and even on cloudy days. While buying the sunglasses, ensure they have full protection from different types of UV rays, like UVA and UVB.
Wear Goggles while Swimming
Dr Aggarwal further added, "Chlorine used in swimming pools to protect from exposure to germs is harmful to your eyes. So, wear goggles every time you swim in any chlorinated pool. You should also wear goggles while swimming in the natural water bodies also, as they contain contaminants that can damage your eyes and complicate a cataract."
Wear a Hat or Visor
Dr Aggarwal said to protect your eyes and eyelids from UV rays, you should wear a hat or visor to deflect sunlight and reduce your exposure to UV rays.
During the summer months, people are more likely to become dehydrated, which can impair their vision. Severe dehydration can also cause weight loss, leading to vision problems, such as dry eyes. Thus, it is important to keep your skin and eyes hydrated. You can do this by drinking adequate water every day.
Avoid Direct Air Conditioner Exposure
The comfort of air conditioning gives you a cooling effect but also contributes to drying your eyes and complicating the cataract. Staying in the air conditioner for a long period can damage eyesight and cause eye problems, such as eye pain, tearing, and dryness, etc. Thus, avoid direct air conditioner exposure to keep your eyes fit.
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Get Enough Sleep
Getting proper sleep is very important for your eyes irrespective of a cataract. Lack of sleep often leads to tired and dry eyes, leading to serious eye problems like glaucoma.
Regular Eye Checkups
Most importantly, a routine eye checkup should be scheduled whenever you feel unwell. "Regular eye checkups can help detect the problems early, helping your eyes to stay healthy," stated Dr Aggarwal.
You should follow safety precautions to protect the eyes in the summer if you have a cataract. During the summer, take a proactive approach to promote eye health and encourage others to do the same.
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