Summertime Tips for Healthy Vision

With warm weather just around the corner, most Canadians are getting ready to get outside again. But summer days can also bring sun, sand and sweat – and if you wear glasses or contact lenses, this can be the perfect recipe for irritated eyes.

Optometrist, Dr. Tod McNab, has a few easy tips to keep your eyes healthy this summer:

• Have some shady activity: You've heard it before – invest in a good set of sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Talk to your eye care professional about prescription sunglasses or consider switching to a contact lens you can comfortably wear underneath a pair of UV-blocking shades.

• Try a new multi-purpose solution: Summer days often turn into summer nights, but going from beach to barbecue shouldn't be impacted by contact lens discomfort. “Some contact lens wearers find their eyes get irritated or dry after a few hours,” says Dr. McNab. He recommends using a contact lens solution containing a lubricant called hyaluronan (HA). “HA, which occurs naturally in the body, can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and helps keep lenses moist and comfortable throughout the day.”

• Brace your Beach Bag: Sand and dirt can easily irritate eyes. Keep germs at bay by packing hand sanitizer and pre-moistened towelettes for emergency clean-ups. Dr. McNab recommends carrying an extra pair of glasses in case you need to remove your contacts, a spare lens case, and a travel-size bottle of contact lens solution to disinfect and store your lenses. Don't forget a wide-brimmed hat or visor and UV-blocking shades to protect your eyes from sun and debris, and a moisture-wicking headband to keep sweat out of your eyes.