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Protecting eyes from UV rays

63With temperatures soaring, taking proper care of our eyes is essential, feel Mumbai’s ophthalmologists. We spoke to Dr Keiki Mehta, ophthalmic surgeon, and Dr Nikhil V Nasta, consultant cataract and refractive surgeon to share some tips…Wear wrap-around UV sunglasses: Just like sunscreen stops harmful UV rays from damaging skin, UV treatment in eyeglass lenses blocks those same rays from damaging our eyes. Over-exposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. For summer the ideal sunglasses are those with a wrap around frame. It keeps the sun and the dust out. Typically the ultraviolet light tends to reflect off water and snow. If you are planning on water sports this summer, or a hill-station trip, be sure to use a good pair of sunglasses. If you leave your eyes unprotected, redness may occur and in some cases even the cornea may get injured. Too much eye-strain due to bright sunlight and staying outdoors for too long may give rise to a headache. Avoid this by reducing sun exposure – wearing a cap and proper dark glasses.Eye protection in the swimming pool: A lazy swim is one of the most inviting prospects this season, but not without your goggles. In summer, the incidence of skin infection in swimming pools rises and most pools increase the amount of chlorine or other chemicals to keep the water safe. And this, often leads to swimming pool conjunctivitis and also weepy irritable eyes. The moment you get out of the pool, wash your eyes with fresh water.Lubricating eye drops: Not just your skin but summer tends to dry out your eyes too. Lubricating drops are ideal at this time of the year. The drops should be preservative free.Steer clear of the AC blast: When sitting in an AC room, make sure the blast is not directed straight onto your eyes as this leads to drying and sensitivity.Wear protective clear glasses: Summer holidays also translate into a lot of outdoor activities. Wearing protective clear glasses whenever you are outdoors – camping, bicycling, cooking around a camp fire and dirt bike riding – is important.Unprotected sun exposure increases the risk of developing a cataract. It can also lead to chronic yellowing or redness of the eye.TIP: Selecting high-quality sunglasses that give 100% UV protection is mandatory. Sub-standard sunglasses make the pupils dilate more, thereby allowing more harmful UV rays to enter the eyes and cause damage.-Internet