Summer is almost here and while warmer days are welcomed by most, the change in seasons can cause irritation to the eyes. Specsavers Perth is helping local residents prepare for the summer by offering advice on eye health during the year’s hottest months.
While dry eye syndrome is a problem during the winter months, this common condition can also be exacerbated in summer when our eyes can become dehydrated, causing symptoms such as eye soreness, a gritty sensation and dryness.
People over 40 years old are more susceptible to the problem - which is caused by the eye’s inability to maintain a healthy layer of tears to coat it. However, air-conditioned office buildings and high computer use are also aggravating factors.
Sharon Philip, store director, Specsavers Perth explains: ‘We’ve seen a growth in the number of customers, of all ages, complaining of irritation and dryness in the summer months.
‘Ironically, one of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome is watery eyes while others include uncomfortable dry or gritty feelings in the eye, burning or itching, redness, hazy vision and sensitivity to light.
‘Tips to prevent irritation include using air conditioning for shorter periods, avoiding spending too much time in front of your computer and drinking more water to avoid dehydration.’
More than 16 million people in Britain suffer from hay fever, and the figure is expected to rise to 30 million within the next two decades. Ninety five per cent of sufferers are allergic to grass pollen, and with spring starting earlier and autumn ending later in recent years, the allergy season is being prolonged.
Sharon said: ‘There are things you can do to minimise the amount of pollen that comes into contact with your eyes when outside such as wearing wrap-around glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen away from your eyes. Never rub or scratch your eyes, this will only aggravate the effects of the allergic reaction further,’
The pollen count is at its highest between 10.30am and 3.30pm, and so hay fever sufferers who are outside between these hours will suffer the strongest symptoms.
The summer is an ideal time to get your eyes tested, as bright conditions can make you susceptible to eyestrain and everyone should get their eyes tested once every two years, or sooner if you are experiencing problems.