How to Care for Your Eyes in Summer

Tina Patel Tina Patel
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
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It’s important to care for your eyes year-round, and the spontaneous British weather can have long-term effects on your eye health if not managed carefully. Coming into summer, the warm weather can often leave people susceptible to dry, irritated and dehydrated eyes, which can be particularly challenging for contact lens and glasses wearers.

In this guide, we’ll share the best ways to protect your eyes from the harmful impacts of the summer heat.

How to stop itchy eyes from hay fever


Although many of us will be excited for the warmer months, the increase in temperature also sparks a rise in allergies. From dust and mould to more common irritants such as pollen, this can often lead to discomfort and redness in our eyes.

A recent study by Allergy UK/Kleenex revealed that almost half of Brits (49%) suffer from symptoms of hay fever. Whilst searches for ‘hayfever sore eyes’ peaked at 2,900 in June of last year, with people looking for home remedies or over the counter medicine to provide some form of relief.

/ Read our detailed guide to hay fever symptoms and treatments to learn more about the easy to identify symptoms and effective treatments. Also, here we have listed four tips to remedy itchy eyes:

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

It’s a natural reflex to rub your eyes when they get itchy. However, this will actually cause more inflammation and worsen your symptoms. Especially if you’re rubbing them without washing your hands, as this can likely introduce bacteria into your eyes, which can lead to infections such as styes or conjunctivitis. Rubbing your eyes also releases histamine, aggravating your allergy symptoms even further.

Instead, try lubricating your eyes regularly with artificial tears or allergy eye drops to help alleviate discomfort. If your symptoms persist, seek advice from your optician, GP or pharmacist.

2. Wear sunglasses

UV rays

Wearing sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays but will also help keep the pollen at bay. Opting for oversized designs such as aviator sunglasses or square sunglasses can be especially beneficial as they cover a wider surface area. They also act as a barrier to prevent you from subconsciously touching your eyes.

3. Use cold compresses

No one wants to keep tearing up or rubbing their eyes constantly, so using a cold compress will provide temporary relief for your eyes. Try to do this for 5-10 minutes a day to reduce puffiness, swelling and redness from hay fever.

Alternatively, try using ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel, frozen veg or even used tea bags that have been kept in the fridge overnight can be utilised as an eye mask.

4. Switch to daily contact lenses

Allergies are hard on everyone, but for contact lens wearers in particular, symptoms can be enhanced. Allergens in the air tend to stick to the surface of contact lenses, which is likely to cause inflammation and watery and itchy eyes.

It may be a safe bet to switch to daily contact lenses during allergy season as this means you can get rid of the lenses after each use. As such, you’re able to avoid the build-up of allergens, which will help keep your eyes healthy and hopefully less irritated.

One of the popular daily contact lenses we offer is Dailies Aquacomfort Plus. They’re ideal for both part and full-time wearers, as well as for people who spend long hours in front of digital devices. Alternatively, consider Dailies Total 1 if you suffer from dry eyes or Focus Dailies All Day Comfort if you live an active lifestyle.

Protect your eyes from harmful UV Rays

There’s nothing quite like soaking in sunlight in the height of summer, especially from your back garden when you’re unable to get away - you can close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere else. But, is UV light bad for your eyes?

Research has shown that prolonged exposure to the sun's rays can cause a myriad of issues such as cataract formation, macular degeneration and pterygium which is why it’s equally important to still wear sunglasses in the winter.

However, in the summer, you’re more at risk of contracting photokeratitis, also known as sunburned eyes. This painful condition is caused by exposure to UV rays and can result in temporary to permanent damage in areas such as the retina, conjunctiva and the surface layer of the cornea. Symptoms of photokeratitis include eye pain, headaches, tearing, sensitivity to light and redness; however, the intensity depends on how much exposure you have to UV rays.

To avoid exposing yourself to these conditions, it’s important to invest in high-quality sunglasses that fit properly.

It’s important to choose comfort and protection over style when it comes to sunglasses, no matter how tempting it may be to go for your favourite design. They should stay in place, not slip down your nose too much, and fully cover your eyes to provide maximum protection. A pair of good-fitting sunglasses will minimise the light entering your eyes.

How to get sunscreen out of your eyes


Protecting your skin with sunscreen is a summer essential, and it’s important to also target your face and decolletage area. However, in doing so it can sometimes lead to getting sunscreen in your eyes, and once applied it can be pretty relentless to take off, causing a burning sensation.

That burning feeling is the result of the chemical ingredients, fragrance and preservatives found in the sunscreen. Although it is unlikely to cause permanent damage, it can be uncomfortable and painful.

To help avoid this situation, you should never spray sunscreen directly on your face, but instead into your palms and apply it in slow movements to avoid contact with your eyes. Remember to wash your hands before, and after applying the lotion too, to prevent rubbing your eyes with excess sunscreen.

If you do find yourself with sunscreen in your eyes, then get yourself to fresh running water as quickly as possible. Wash your hands with soap and water, and if you’re wearing contact lenses, remove them. Wipe around your eyes to remove any excess sunscreen before rinsing your eyes out with water several times. You can also use saline solution or eye drops, and make sure you’re blinking regularly to help flush out any of the toxins from the sunscreen. It’s best to not wear contact lenses for around 48 hours after to avoid any further irritation.

If your eyes are still stinging, you can also take a cold wet flannel and place this over your eyes to provide some immediate relief. It’s normal to experience a slightly fuzzy vision after this, so try not to worry. However, it is important to seek advice from your GP or optician if you have any concerns.

Swimming in contact lenses


For many glasses wearers, it can be difficult to know whether to keep them on in the swimming pool, opt for contact lenses, or not wear any form of prescription at all. But is it safe to wear contacts in the swimming pool?

It is highly recommended that you avoid getting your contact lenses wet, whether that’d be in the shower, swimming pool, hot tub, or ocean.

Most bodies of water contain Acanthamoeba, which is a microorganism that can cause serious eye infections like Acanthamoeba Keratitis if they get under your contact lens, as well as other irritations. Although water in general mixed with your lenses can also increase your risk of eye irritations and infections.

It’s therefore best to take your contact lenses out before going in the swimming pool, or any body of water, but if you do decide to wear them then it’s a good idea to invest in watertight goggles. Just make sure that you dispose of your contact lenses immediately after you get out of the water. As soon as one is out of water, they should wash and dry their hands and remove their lenses. Also, use rewetting drops to rinse out your eyes before putting in a fresh pair.

Get ready for summer by shopping a great pair of sunglasses from our wide collection. All of our sunglasses at Feel Good Contacts provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, hence are prefect to serve your eyes the protection they need this summer. For inspiration on styles, read our guide on the top 5 trending sunglasses for 2024.

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