Summer is finally here and everyone is looking to enjoy some sea, sand and sun. Swimming is indeed a great way to cool off in the scorching summer heat, but have you ever thought how sea salt can affect your eye health?
"Contrary to popular belief, sea salt is not beneficial for the eyes," said Dr. Aylin Kılıç as she warned that sea salt can cause dry eyes. This is why we should not give in to the attraction of natural blue waters and open our eyes underwater.
"Sea salt can also cause redness, burning and stinging sensation along with infection," she said, adding that open air, wind, sea, sand and sun all carry risks for our eyes to some extent. Kılıç also pointed to allergic reactions that can affect the vision directly.
Wind, sand, sea and flying foreign objects can cause allergic reactions. With the sun, the allergic reaction can be severe. It can also cause redness in the eye, watering, blurry vision and itching.
Allergic reactions can also take place in pools. Cleaning agents may have a toxic effect in the eye. "Pool water can cause redness, itching, burning and many other allergic reactions in the eye. We should not open our eyes while swimming in pools, either. There are many serious contagious eye illnesses. The type of infectious virus can be derived from swimming pools and can cause watering and deburring. This infection can continue for two to three weeks or for months sometimes. In such situations, eyes can be cleaned by plenty of water," Kılıç said.
"Using swimming goggles can help us protect our eyes. Do not use contact lenses while swimming. But if you do so, do not use the lens again," Kılıç added.
For the sake of eye health, we should be careful of sea salt or pool-cleaning substances from getting into our eyes. We should also avoid looking at the sun with bare eyes as it can cause permanent visual impairment. We should prefer sunglasses that provide ultraviolet protection. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause cataract, allergy and macular degeneration.