Palma.—HOT sunshine, sandy beaches and a sparkling sea are all recipes for a great summer, but can cause problems for your eyes. The experts from Specsavers Opticas have released the following advice for keeping your eyes in top condition this summer.

1. Protect your eyes from the sun
Andrés Román Romero, Store Director of Specsavers Opticas Santa Ponça, says: “Excessive exposure to UV rays causes a painful irritation to the cornea at the front of the eye. In extreme circumstances this can lead to cancer of the cornea, age related macular degeneration, cataracts and even blindness.” Everyone should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun. Check sunglasses comply with UNE-EN 1836:2006 + A1:2008 or bear the CE kite mark and are marked UV 400.

If you already have sunglasses and aren't sure if they offer the right protection, take them into your local Specsavers to be UV tested. Look for styles which are large, or wraparound to minimise light entering the eyes from the side.

2. Be careful of sand and small objects getting into your eye.
It is easy for sand or small objects to get into your eye when you're enjoying swimming and spending time on the beach. If this happens take the following steps:
Try not to rub your eyes as this could scratch the cornea
Do not rinse your eyes with running water, the eye will water to flush out the object naturally
If it is still painful and you think the object is still in your eye, go to your nearest opticians who will try to locate and remove the object
If this does not help you, the Optometrist will refer you to the specialist in the nearest hospital, who will take out the object and prescribe you an ointment to heal any damage it may have caused.

3. Don't wait until you return home to seek advice.
It is not advisable to wait until you go home to consult the experts. Even something like an eye infection can become serious if it is not suitably treated, so don't be afraid to go into an optician and ask for help, many speak English.

John Fisher from the UK was on holiday in Denia in October 2012 when one windy day he felt like something was blown into his eye. Suffering a large amount of discomfort he washed his eye with running water to try to rinse out the object, to no avail. Over the next few hours his vision started to deteriorate, so he decided to ask advice from Specsavers in Benidorm.

The Specsavers' team quickly saw that there was something seriously wrong and identified that Mr. Fisher had a very aggressive infection. They believed it was caused from something that scratched his eye causing a cut, which later became infected through contact with water. They referred him to the local hospital and stressed that he must seek help or risk permanent vision loss.

Their concern and well explained advice made him overcome his nerves and go to the hospital and as a result he got almost 90% of his vision back.
4. Travel with contact lenses and glasses.
Using glasses as well as contact lenses are advised whilst on holiday, so don't leave them at home. Swimming in contact lenses is not recommended, and plane travel and bright sunlight can make eyes dry and uncomfortable for contact lens wearers.

Make sure you have enough lenses and cleaning solution for the duration of your trip and take eye drops if you suffer from dry eyes.


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