Every year, we eagerly wait for the lazy summer days that fade into the refreshing monsoon rain! But, while these seasons have their charm, it’s important to be aware of some common eye problems that often accompany them. From dry and pink eyes to styes and allergies, these eye conditions can put a damper on your sunny days and rainy adventures.
While some problems may resolve naturally over time, others can persist and worsen if not addressed properly. That’s why taking certain precautions and implementing eye care tips can go a long way in protecting your overall eye health.
Let’s first learn about the common eye conditions we often see during summer and monsoon.
What Are Some Common Eye-Related Problems During Summer and Monsoon?
These are the common eye problems observed during the summer and monsoon seasons.
1. Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are prevalent during summer when soaring temperatures and hot winds contribute to this problem.
Dry eyes occur when there is a decrease in tear production by the lacrimal glands or when the tearsevaporate quickly due to insufficient oily secretions from the meibomian glands.
This is one of the most common reasons for eye pain, along with symptoms like itching, redness, and a gritty sensation in the eye.
2. Conjunctivitis/Pink Eyes
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is a widespread eye infection that can occur at any time of the year. However, the weather is hot and humid during the summer and monsoon seasons. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria and germs to thrive, leading to eye infections, including viral or bacterial conjunctivitis.
It’s important to note that conjunctivitis can also occur due to other factors unrelated to the weather. Allergies, exposure to irritants like chemicals or smoke, or contact with someone infected can also result in conjunctivitis. The infection can spread through the contact of dirty hands, contaminated objects, or through the eye secretions of an infected person.
So, what happens when someone experiences conjunctivitis? During this common eye problem, the conjunctiva, a thin, transparent layer of tissue that covers the front side of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids, becomes inflamed or swollen. This inflammation leads to redness and eye pain.
A stye is a common eye-related problem, like a boil on the eye. Styes occur when the oil glands on the surface of the eyelids get blocked, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
These bacteria thrive particularly during moist and sweaty seasons. Styes, also known as hordeolums, often present as a red lump on the eyelid’s surface. Styes can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, tenderness, and occasional discharge from the affected area.
Keratitis is when the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye, called the cornea, becomes inflamed. Infectious keratitis occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites infect the eye or if you wear dirty contact lenses for an extended period (this can lead to non infectious keratitis too).
On the other hand, non-infectious keratitis can occur if you have untreated, dry eyes or if your eyes are exposed to irritating elements like dust and hot winds during the summer. Both infectious and non-infectious keratitis may occur if you injure the eye.
When you have keratitis, you might notice redness, pain, blurry vision, sensitivity to light (photophobia), tearing, or a sensation as if there’s something in your eye. It’s important to seek prompt treatment for this common eye condition because it can lead to vision problems if left untreated.
What Causes Common Eye Problems During Summer & Monsoon?
We’re all familiar with the common eye problems that tend to occur during the summer and monsoon. But have you ever wondered what actually triggers these eye infections during these seasons? Let’s break it down for you:
During the Monsoon Season:
- Bacterial and Viral Infections: The increased humidity during the monsoon creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, leading to eye problems such as pink eye or keratitis.
- Allergens and Irritants: Allergens like pollen, mould spores, and dust mites can result in allergic conjunctivitis, causing redness, itching, watering, and swelling of the eyes.
- Fungal Infections: Humidity increases the risk of fungal keratitis. This risk becomes even greater if your eyes are exposed to stagnant water or don’t maintain proper contact lens hygiene.
During the Summer Season:
- Dehydration: Hot weather and outdoor activities can contribute to dehydration, including the eyes.
- Allergens: Summer is the peak time for allergens such as pollen, grass, and other airborne substances that can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
By understanding these triggers, you can take precautions to protect your eyes during these seasons and seek appropriate treatment.
What are Some Effective Eye Care Tips During Summer And Monsoon Season?
Let’s learn some effective eye-care tips to help you prevent these common eye conditions.
1. Don’t Use Waterproof Eye Makeup.
Waterproof eye makeup may be convenient and beautiful, but removing it can be quite challenging. Often, excessive rubbing is required, leading to inflammation and clogging of the eye glands. These glands play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your eyelids and eyes, preventing dryness and infections.
2. Remove eye makeup gently.
Even water-based or smudge-proof formulas, while seemingly easier to remove, can still cause irritation and various eye conditions, especially during the summer and monsoon seasons. To protect your eyes during makeup removal, follow these eye care tips:
A. Use cotton pads or soft cloths: Instead of rough materials, use soft cotton pads or cloths to remove the makeup gently. This helps minimize friction and potential irritation.
B. Soak and press: Place a soaked cotton pad or cloth on your closed eyelid for a few seconds to allow the makeup to loosen. Then, gently press and wipe away the makeup without vigorous rubbing.
C. Follow up with a gentle cleanser: Once the makeup is removed, cleanse your face with a mild, non-irritating facial cleanser to thoroughly wash away any remaining residue.
D. Moisturise the eye area: After makeup removal, apply a hydrating eye cream or a gentle moisturiser around the eye area to keep the skin nourished.
3. Regularly clean your makeup tools.
A. Clean your brushes, sponges, and applicators regularly to free them from bacteria and germs.
B. Avoid sharing makeup tools: To reduce the risk of eye infections, avoid sharing your makeup tools with others.
C. Discard expired makeup products: Minimise the chance of eye irritation or infections by discarding any products older than three months or expired.
4. Stay hydrated.
Try to drink 7 to 8 glasses of water daily. Sufficient hydration promotes tear production and helps lubricate the eyes, reducing discomfort, itching, and irritation.
5. Regularly change your contact lens solution.
Storing your lenses in a fresh solution helps keep them clean and moist, ensuring eye comfort and reducing the risk of eye infections and irritation.
6. Safeguard your eyes
Wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can offer shade. Protective eyewear, like safety glasses or goggles, acts as a barrier, shielding your eyes from airborne particles and minimizing the risk of eye problems, especially during windy and dusty conditions.
7. Maintain a healthy, wholesome diet.
We all know that a healthy diet contributes to physical health. Similarly, a healthy diet also leads to better eye health.
- Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are packed with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Carrots: Carrots are known for their high beta-carotene content, which gets converted into vitamin A.
- Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant.
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries contain antioxidants like vitamins C and E.
- Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds provide vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans are rich in bioflavonoids and zinc. Zinc also aids in the absorption of vitamin A.
- Eggs: Eggs contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and zinc.
- Bell peppers: Colorful bell peppers, such as red, yellow, and orange ones, are rich in vitamins C, A, and antioxidants.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains flavonoids and antioxidants.
When To See An Eye Specialist?
While these eye care tips are helpful, it’s important to remember that they are not a substitute for professional care. If you have persistent symptoms or discomfort, especially related to your eyes, it’s best to seek help from a healthcare professional. A specialist, like an ophthalmologist, can thoroughly examine and assess your condition, providing the right treatment options.
Get in touch with Dr. Ritika Dalal for more guidance about common eye conditions