Planning an adventure getaway can be really exciting, but whether you’ve got tropical waters or glistening ski slopes to look forward to, it’s important to be prepared not just for the experience of a lifetime but for the risks that adventurous environments may bring.
These destinations may look blissfully inviting, but they can be potentially harmful for one of the lesser talked about areas of health care: our eyes.
Extreme climates and activities can pose additional dangers to ocular health care, so it’s important to know the risks and how to protect your eyes from them. Here are a few tips to consider.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS
If you have prescriptions for your eye health then it is, of course, vital that you remember to pack them. It’s wise to speak to an optometrist for tailored advice on any eyecare concerns and how they may be affected by your holiday.
Pack more than you need, just to be on the safe side. Bring an extra pair of glasses with you too, or – if you wear contacts – either pack extra or switch temporarily to disposables.
Take plenty of contact lens solution and never wash your contacts with water, as it won’t be sterile and could lead to infection. Don’t forget to stock up on your prescription drops as well.
It’s worth taking details of your prescriptions with you should you need to urgently find a new pair of glasses or contacts.
Warm, turquoise waters and golden sands are irresistible, and you’d be forgiven for not thinking twice about hitting the beach and running for the waves. Unfortunately, no matter how pure and crystal clear the ocean may appear, it can contain a lot of dangers for your eyes.
These dangers may come in the form of tiny sand and dirt particles, bacteria, or potentially even small levels of runoff sewage. All of this can irritate your eyes and lead to nasty infections.
Wear a pair of swimming goggles in the water and wash your eyes gently when you return to dry land. Never wear contact lenses when swimming. The water can get between the lens and your eye, causing friction and resulting in serious damage.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UV RAYS
A holiday generally isn’t complete without some sunshine, and it’s safe to assume you’re planning to soak up as much as possible. Suncream is an essential packing item for avoiding painful sunburnt skin, but it’s key to remember that the sun is equally damaging to your eyes.
Over time, UV rays damage your central vision and can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts and corneal sunburn. Prescription sunglasses are the best way to ensure total protection.
Remember that UV rays also reflect harshly off water, so ensure your goggles offer UV protection too.
HOT AND COLD CLIMATES
Adventurous holidays are almost guaranteed to involve unfamiliar and testing climates. Hot and dusty environments are commonly responsible for the dreaded dry eye syndrome.
Try to keep your eyes clean and avoid wearing eye makeup as this can block eyelid glands and lead to painful inflammation.
Cold air reduces the moisture levels of the eye which also results in dry eyes. Wrap-around goggles are a must for skiing, but they should also be worn for cycling into cold winds.
Eye drops can help you regulate hydration to both ease and prevent dry eye syndrome. You should consult an eye specialist before you travel if you have suffered with this condition in the past.
Last but not least, enjoy your holiday! The health risks mentioned here are easily avoidable providing you follow the advice and pack appropriately for your adventure.
This post was written in collaboration with the specialists at Leightons, who offer personalised treatments and advice for all aspects of eye and ear health. If you have concerns around any of the areas discussed, book an appointment today to ensure you’re prepared for your retreat.