Can you damage your eyes on holiday?
Sun, sea, good food and better drinks; this describes the standard summer holiday abroad, right? Most of the time. However, the stark contrasts that exist between many foreign countries and the UK are often too extreme for our bodies to handle. Specifically, our eyes.
First, there are the long-haul flights which can exacerbate the sleep deprivation you’re likely to experience on longer flights (especially if you’ve got an early morning jaunt). Before you know it you’re jet-lagged, with irritated eyes, blurred vision and an increased sensitivity to light. Then, once you’re on land the dry air hits you and the sunshine blinds. Suffice it to say that all this isn’t great for your eyesight!
But don’t worry, we’ve packed all our tips into this handy blog post. If you’ve got itchy eyes on holiday or you find that your eyes are straining, we’ll sort you out – carry on reading.
Wear goggles when you’re in the pool
You might have guessed, the chlorine used to clean swimming pools is no good for your eyes. This cleaning chemical is dangerous because it strips away the film that protects your cornea (which then exposes your eyes to all sorts of dirt and bacteria, which is almost ironic when you think about it).
There are, generally speaking, three common eye issues that are caused by prolonged chlorine contamination. They are:
Commonly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection caused by prolonged contact with chlorine (it’s also associated with regularly leaving eye makeup on overnight).
Red and irritated eyes
As your eyes become dehydrated and the chlorine corrodes their protective film, your eyes will almost always become irritated, red, sore, and painful.
This is an infection of the cornea – the clear ‘window’ at the front of your eyes – and it can be incredibly painful. A microscopic organism (Acanthamoeba) can find their way into your eyes via natural water sources (lakes, rivers etc) as well as swimming pools and through domestic tap water. Acanthamoeba generally do not cause harm to humans.
Protect your skin
While you may apply sunscreen to your arms and legs, one area that many of us neglect is the area around our eyes. This is a really sensitive area because the skin is so thin. Too much sun exposure will leave them feeling sore and irritated. It may be worth getting a higher SPF for your eyes.
Use eye drops regularly
Like we said earlier, our eyes are not accustomed to the kinds of heat and dry air that you get abroad. For this reason, you should help your eyes produce more moisture with eye drops. You will prevent your eyes from drying up and getting irritated (they’ll also help when you’re flying too).
Wear sunglasses that actually work
Far too many sunglasses on the market today are simply not strong enough to protect your eyes from the sun. Invest in a pair of sunglasses with proper UV protection and you won’t regret it (we have a vast range of men’s sunglasses as well as women’s sunglasses, too).
Try to maintain a proper diet where you can
You’re on holiday! Your diet may well be the last thing on your mind, and we get that. However, you can eat to improve your eye health so, if you often have problems with your eyes, then you may want to keep an eye on your diet. Certain foods may aggravate them, while others help them.
And lastly, drink water!
The best way to keep your eyes hydrated (and your body) is to simply drink water (6-8 glasses a day should do it). What’s more, if you’re drinking you should definitely top yourself up with water.
Take care of your eyes when you’re away
That’s how you can take care of your eyes on holiday! If you’re currently on holiday asking yourself: “why do my eyes water on holiday” then we can give you an answer here – your eyes are overcompensating for your dry, arid environment by producing more moisture. Simple! This blog shows you how you can help your eyes produce moisture naturally.