Healthy Living Blog – Young Adults and Summer Eye Protection

Healthy Living Blog – Young Adults and Summer Eye Protection

Young adulthood is when most people experience their best health. Generally, young adults have healthy eyes, free from serious eye and vision issues that older adults might have. During this stage of life, it is very important to take care of your eyes to prevent eye and vision problems.

Maintaining your eyes and vision requires an overall healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways to care for your eyes and vision:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Make sure to eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get an eye exam once a year.

Your eyes need sun protection, too

People are looking to spend more time outdoors now that it’s summer. Usually, people protect their skin with sunscreen but may not give much thought about their eyes. The eyes are affected by the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, just like the skin. If they are not protected, there can be long-term UV damage which increases the risk for eye diseases.

Ways to protect your eyes include:

  • Wearing sunglasses whenever you are outside. Buy a pair of sunglasses that provides 100% UV protection. Choose prescription sunglasses if you normally wear glasses or buy a pair of glasses with transition lenses. Transition lenses darken when outdoors in UV rays.
  • Wearing a hat with your sunglasses for all-around UV protection. While wearing sunglasses, UV rays can enter into your eyes from the spaces in between your glasses and your face.
  • Don’t ever look directly at the sun. This can cause serious damage to your retina, which is a thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye that senses light.

Eye protection is not only for the summer. It is also needed in colder and cloudier months. You may think that there are less UV rays when it’s cloudy but that’s not true. Clouds don’t block harmful UV rays, which is why you should always wear sunglasses every time you are outside. People with lighter color eyes should take extra precautions as their eyes can get damaged more easily.

What about indoor tanning?

Santa Clara County recently rolled back on opening “personal care services,” which includes tanning salons, because of COVID-19. Despite this, it is good to understand how indoor tanning affects your eye health. Indoor tanning releases the same UV rays as the sun in more amounts. Your exposure to a lot of UV rays can cause serious damage to your eyes and eyelids. This damage builds up and increases the risk for eye diseases later in life such as cataracts (where the eye lens becomes blurry), glaucoma (a disease that damages the optic nerve), and eye cancer.

Have questions or curious to learn more?  Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor.  AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!