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April 2010
Summer Eye Care
Dr A Sridhar
 
Summer is not just the hottest time; it is also the brightest, when the sun beats down longer and stronger more relentlessly. Taking care of your eyes is not hard work though, this season.
Are You at Risk?
  1. If you have an outdoor job that warms (burns, at the days go by) you up in the summer sun, you need to take care.
  2. If you are planning to spend your summer vacation on the beach or sailing, be aware that the reflective glare of the sand and water would tax your eyes more, magnifying your sun exposure.
  3. So what if you decide to avoid the beach and settle for the swimming pool in the neighbourhood? You will still need to watch out (literally) for the amount of chlorine in the water – this could burn your eyes. If your eyes are burning underwater, come out and take a shower. If it happens again when you are in the water, call it a day right then – the water might be a bit over-chlorinated that day.
  4. Those with blue (green and other colours that are close to it) eyes really need to watch out. The pupils of these eyes don’t close as much as that of brown (every colour that falls near it, like black) eyes, and hence let in more harmful sunlight. We Indians with our dark eyes should know that we are blessed.
  5. The natural lens of the eyes in young children are clear and do not absorb UV light. Older people with their discoloured lenses would absorb more UV light, and need to be more careful.
  6. Summer is also the dustiest time. The flying grit is something to skilfully avoid, if you’re riding. So which type of
sunglasses should you wear?
Select sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection. And how do you know whether the protection offered is what the branded sticker claims it is? Every standard optical shop would have photometers. Place your sunglass on that, and ask for a reading.

Better than wearing cheap quality sunglasses is to not to wear sunglasses at all. The former would make you pass off as John Abraham or Priyanka Chopra, but they would disperse more sunlight into your eyes. Your pupils would open up more, being under the dark glass, and get in more of the harmful UV radiation. Avoid!

You can get a polariser and anti reflective coating done on any pair of sunglasses at your optical shop.

Those who have colour vision problems should select grey glasses for driving.
Dr. A Sridhar is Consultant – Ophthalmology at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad

    
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