It’s just a matter of weeks until the schools are out for the summer and families will be heading away for their holidays in the sunshine. It’s therefore an ideal time to remind readers of the importance of eye health during the fun-filled summer season. While many sun-worshippers remember to protect their skin with sun cream, way too many of us don’t look after our eyes enough.

Some medical experts have said that overexposure to the sun can cause severe damage such as sunburn of the cornea, tissue growth on the eyes which blocks overall vision and, worse still, skin cancer of the eyelids. Dr Christopher Starr, a director of refractive surgery at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital has linked overexposure to the sun to “accelerating ageing of eye tissue”. Nevertheless, with our top tips, you can keep your eyes protected from the sun’s rays whilst still comfortably enjoying your summer holidays.

Double and triple-check your sunglasses’ UV protection levels

Before you settle on a trusty pair of sunnies for your next overseas break, be sure to check the level of UV protection the lenses offer. Bear in mind that even during the cloudiest of summer days, UV levels can be high and still damage your eyes. The best sunglasses offer over 95% protection from UV, although 100% would be beneficial, particularly for children.

Consider the lens tint of your sunglasses

It is a common misconception among summer holidaymakers that the darker the tint on your sunglasses, the better protection they provide from the sun’s UV rays. That’s not strictly true. An ideal lens tint should deflect at least 80% of all transmissible light, with green and brown tints the best colours to wear for your eyes.

Don’t be afraid to use eye drops

Despite your best efforts, there will be occasions when your eyes get tired or aggravated. It might be due to hay fever or the wind drying your eyes out. Make sure you take some eye drops with you on your summer breaks to provide fast and effective relief. Most drops are small enough to be kept in your handbag or pocket for use on the go.

Wear sunglasses over your contact lenses

Whether you wear daily, bi-weekly or monthly lenses, contacts wearers will probably be aware that there are brands now providing cheap contact lenses online with UV protection. It’s good to wear contacts to protect from the sun. Everclear is one of the leading brands to offer lenses with UV-blocking to provide additional defence against sun damage, which you can order by 8pm to receive tomorrow at Vision Direct– handy if you’re in a packing frenzy. Nevertheless, you should still wear sunglasses even if you wear contacts too. The UV protection in the contacts is nowhere near as strong as sunglasses, and wearing another pair also helps to prevent your lenses from drying out in hot, windy conditions.

Maintain a healthy, balanced diet

It’s not just carrots that are good for your eye health. Maintaining a holiday diet that is rich in nutrients will help to maintain your eyesight and prevent macular degeneration that is common with middle-aged people. Keep hydrated too – this is important for your eyes as well as your body, since dehydration can also lead to dry eye symptoms, preventing normal eye function.

It’s important to take your eye health as seriously as your choice of holiday destination this summer. With a little organisation, you and your family can be well-set for the summer sunshine.