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Eye protection during summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on 21-07-2016

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Can heat affect our eyes? Very much so, especially as the intense heat at this time of year can cause tears to evaporate easily. This can lead to several very common eye problems, taking care of your eyes in summer is particularly important.

The most common eye conditions

Conjunctivitis or eye irritation is a very common problem during the warm summer months.

What causes conjunctivitis?

In summer it often occurs as a result of irritation, especially from swimming pool water due to the chemical products, such as chlorine, used to keep it clean. These products are potent corneal and conjunctival irritants.

However conjunctivitis can also be caused by viral or bacterial infections and allergies as well as by irritation.

Other eye problems

Summer is a time to enjoy and relax in the open air, as well as an opportunity to take part in sporting activities. As a result it is very common to suffer from minor trauma, corneal ulcers etc.

How to look after your eyes during summer

The best tip that the Ophthalmology Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital can give is to protect your sight and remember to follow a few simple, straight forward pieces of advice:

Use goggles when diving

Especially in the pool with the water being chemically treated as previously mentioned.

Goggles should also be used in the sea if it is especially dirty, however in normal conditions sea water is beneficial due to its high salt content lending it disinfectant properties.

Sunglasses are essential

Especially on the Mediterranean coast. The main reason for their use is to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays, therefore a very high filter – 100% if possible – is very important.

Polarised lenses are preferable as they also protect against reflected light. Green, brown or grey lenses provide adequate protection for your eyes.

 

 

Lenses in the water are fine, but do take care

Contact lenses are generally very useful in the pool or in the sea, as they allow us to see clearly whilst swimming. But there are certain rules which should be followed when using lenses:

  • Preferably use soft lenses.
  • Use lenses with UV protection to protect the cornea from exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Daily disposable lenses are best to avoid contamination from bacteria and micro-organisms in the water.

Should we take special care with babies?

Advice regarding eye care in summer is not only for adults. We should also protect babies from solar radiation, with glasses specifically appropriate for their age.

During the first few months of life it is advisable not to expose babies’ skin or eyes to the sun. It is important for parents to know that the majority of damage caused to the eyes and skin by ultraviolet radiation occurs before the age of 16 and then accumulates throughout a person’s life.

 

With all this in mind please enjoy happy, healthy summer holidays!

XANIT HOSPITAL

Ear care during summer

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on 07-07-2016

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Summer has arrived, bringing the usual seasonal infections, one of the most common being  ear infections, these can be avoided by following a few very simple recommendations.

 

Avoid the use of cotton buds

vithas xanit

 

This advice is applicable throughout the year not just during the summer months. However during summer many people decide to clean the wax out of their ears with cotton buds or similar, this is not advisable. Wax may appear to be unhygienic but actually the reverse is true. Wax is a natural substance produced by the ear to provide both mechanical and chemical protection from harmful germs.

 

With this in mind, excessive cleaning of the ear canal actually eliminates this protection. Cotton buds push the wax inside the ear, creating wax plugs and disrupting the ear’s natural self-cleaning mechanism.

 

The ear also has very fine, delicate skin, using cotton buds can cause small breaks in the skin allowing an infection to develop.

 

So how should we clean our ears?

 

Here at the ENT Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital we advise you to only clean the skin outside the ear canal, and to clean it very carefully, allowing skin growth to encourage the wax to drain naturally.

 

Only swim in clean water

 

The summer heat encourages us to spend a lot of time in the water, especially in the pool. To avoid ear infections it is important to try and control the cleanliness of the water in which we swim as much as possible.

 

In swimming pools an excess, as well as a lack, of chemical detergents (such as chlorine) can lead to the appearance of problems in the ear canal. If water is under-treated, it is easier for harmful germs to appear. If it is over-treated it can cause dermatitis, allergies or problems with the skin.

 

In this respect it is important to monitor swimming pools’ filtration systems and the quality of the water (taking special care with the pH, chlorine etc…) and in the case of community pools, to check the monitoring records of these values.

 

As far as out children are concerned, the best advice is to replace the chlorinated water with salt water. It is better to swim in the sea rather than the pool.

 

Restrict the use of ear plugs

 

In principle, people who have never had ear problems should not use ear plugs. In healthy people who look after their ear canal correctly, there is normally no problem in swimming without ear plugs.

If a person is predisposed to infections, ear plugs are recommended, although review with an ENT doctor to check the skin and eardrum is advisable to rule out any other problems.

 

Which earplugs are best for swimming?

 

Without doubt the most comfortable earplugs are those which are made to measure. They are usually made of silicone, as the material moulds to fit perfectly in our ear, sealing the entrance from water without excessive pressure damaging the ear canal.

 

However there are several ready-made earplugs available to buy from the pharmacy, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for their use.

 

Prior review with specialist

 

People who are prone to suffering from ear infections should be reviewed by their Ear Nose and Throat Specialist at the start of summer to detect any problem which might affect them, and to help prevent any infection from becoming serious.

 

At Vithas Xanit International Hospital we have a team of specialist ENT doctors available to give you the best advice on protecting your ear canal during the summer months.

 

Dr. Robin Reyes

Head of ENT Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.