Eye Care Tips for San Diegans

Our eyes help us read our favorite books, drive our vehicles, watch TV and see our loved ones. It’s important to protect our eyes and keep them healthy in order to minimize the chances of developing an eye problem or eye disease, which can be painful, frustrating and costly. (Luckily, most eye diseases can be treated when they’re caught early enough.)

Yes, San Diego is nearly perfect. However, America’s finest city can be hazardous to our eyes, due to the sun, the bodies of water, allergens and the Santa Ana winds. Protect your eyes from these irritants to reduce your chances of eye infections or future eye problems.

Here are five crucial eye care tips for San Diegans:

  1. Wear sunglasses when outside or driving.

    Purchase at least one pair of large or oversized sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection. Wear sunglasses anytime you’re outside to protect your eyes from the sun. Also, wearing a hat further shields your eyes and face from the sun.

  2. Wear swim goggles when in water.

    Whether you plan to swim in the ocean, a lake or a pool, it’s best to wear swim goggles to prevent chemicals and bacteria from entering your eyes. You can also find swim goggles with UV protection. Additionally, don’t ever wear contact lenses in the water, because they can trap bacteria and microorganisms in your eye and ultimately cause infections.

  3. Avoid rubbing your eyes.

    Allergies and the Santa Ana winds make eyes very dry or itchy. However, rubbing your eyes can spread germs and bacteria into them, and it can also cause irreparable damage, so keep your fingers away from your eyes.

  4. Keep eyes moist.

    Prevent the urge to rub your eyes by using artificial tears or a humidifier to keep your eyes moist and stop them from drying out. Also, bathing every day increases eye moisture and decreases allergy discomfort, as well as removes allergens (such as pollen) from your skin.

  5. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually.

    Unfortunately, many eye diseases don’t have warning signs, which makes a dilated eye exam the only means for early detection. When our eyes are dilated, it allows the eye doctor to examine the back of our eyes for disease or damage.

Teach your children and other family members about adequate eye care and eye protection. Good habits such as wearing sunglasses and not rubbing one’s eyes can prevent eye infections, eye diseases and vision problems. If you’re interested in learning more ways to stay healthy and safe while living an active lifestyle, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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