Eye Health: Allergies & Ultraviolet

cleveland eye health ophthalmologistEach month we like to bring you facts and helpful tips relating to eye health and the National Health Observances Calendar. This month, May 2015, three separate observances are critically important to eye health. These include:

  1. Healthy Vision Month: Join National Eye Institute in learning how to make eye health a priority.
  2. National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month: Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It’s a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to increase awareness.
  3. Ultraviolet Awareness Month: Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, has declared May as UV Awareness Month to help educate the public on the dangers of UV and steps to take to protect vision today and in the future.

So as summer quickly approaches and the weather warms up in Cleveland, what better way to enjoy it than to be outside with family and friends? Whether it be gardening, walking, boating or golfing don’t forget about how important your eyes are by educating yourself and increasing awareness with friends and family about eye health – including eye allergies and ultraviolet effects. Here are some top tips to share (pass them on):

Tips for Eye Allergy Sufferers

The weather throughout Ohio is warming up, and if you happen to be a sufferer from eye allergies you know a think or two about grass and tree pollen rampant this time of year. Allowing that pollen into your car, your home and on your clothes and hair can cause your eyes to react and force you to rub or scratch – causing eye injuries and infections.

EYE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:

  • Burning
  • Clear, watery discharge
  • Itching
  • Redness

Having eye allergies can be quite a nuisance, but with your help of an eye doctor can be managed. Follow some simple tips to help the situation on your own and make an appointment with the eye doctors of Corrective Eye Center for more advanced treatment:

  1. Try not opening your windows during high pollen periods and maybe turn on your A/C in both your home and car. (resource for checking pollen levels)
  2. Regularly wash your face, hands and hair after spending time outside and consider flushing eyes and ears with a nonprescription saline solution.
  3. Change clothing after being outside for long periods of time and wash clothes frequently to remove pollen and other allergens.
  4. Wash sheets – especially if you are waking up with signs of eye irritation from allergies. Pollen can easily transfer from hair, skin and clothing.
  5. Limit outdoor activity in the early morning, when pollen counts are higher.

Not only do you want to protect your eyes from the pollen in the air, but did you know that the sun can also damage your eyes as well?

PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM HARMFUL UV RAYS

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF UV EXPOSURE

  • Cataracts
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration [AMD]
  • Skin cancer around eyelids (UV-A and UV-B radiation)
  • Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn that can result in temporary vision loss)
  • Pterygium (abnormal pink tissue on the white of the eye)

May is also Ultraviolet Awareness month because although we quickly make the connection between harmful sunrays and skin cancer, we don’t often take the time to educate ourselves and family on what those harmful UV rays do to our eyes.
This summer, and all year long, take action in protecting your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun.

So as those Cleveland sunrays starting making themselves more visible, make sure you follow these tips for yourself and spread the word by sharing this post with friends and family:

  1. Wear sunglasses that block 99-100% UV radiation
  2. Wear a brim hat that shields the face outdoors
  3. Get regular eye exams with an eye doctor every 2 years if you are younger than 60 (go every year if over 60)
  4. Do not smoke (smoking can cause UV radiation damage to progress quicker than with non-smokers)

At Corrective Eye Center, we care about you and your eye health. We want you to enjoy your summer and don’t let an eye injury or eye discomfort spoil the fun. To schedule an appointment with one of our Cleveland, Independence, Rocky River or Euclid, Ohio eye doctors, call 216-574-8900 or contact our eye specialists for more information.