The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Summer opens up the door to some amazing possibilities, but it also cracks open a few windows to health problems. Some of the problems that will be discussed below are short-term issues like heat stroke whereas others are longer-term issues like skin and eye damage, which can both be prevented by following a few of the guidelines below.

Sunburn and Long-term Skin Issues

To jump right into it, summer usually means a lot more time outdoors, which means more time around the sun. Without adequate skin protection and eye protection, you could be talking about UV damage caused by the sun’s rays.

The truth of the matter is that skin cancer is the most common kind that there is. What’s more, skin cancer can be lethal, so it’s something that you need to start taking seriously as soon as possible.

You might already be at higher risk of developing some form of skin cancer if you’ve been sunburned many times in the past, have more fair skin, or have a family member who has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Because much of this UV damage can be cumulative, you might be at higher risk of developing skin cancer if you check off one or more of the aforementioned factors and you’re over the age of 50.

Wearing sunblock that’s at least SPF 30 and staying out of the sun between 10 and 2 in the afternoon are the best ways to reduce your chances of getting sunburned or suffering long-term skin damage.

Mosquito Bites

This may sound like a small issue, but mosquito bites can carry with them serious diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Consider wearing clothing with more coverage, avoiding buggy areas (e.g., forest preserves at twilight), and wearing plenty of bug repellent if that can’t be avoided. If you notice a concerning mosquito problem around your house, see this website for tips and suggestions for pest control.

Eye Damage from the Sun

Bear in mind, though, that the sun’s harmful UV rays"especially UV-B rays"can damage your vision too. The thing to do is wear sunglasses to block out these harmful rays. Really do your homework and make sure that the sunglasses you purchase actually filter UV rays.

If the sunglasses you select are simply black and don’t block out UV rays, then it might be worse than nothing in the sense that the sunglasses will dilate your pupils without offering any protection whatsoever against UV rays but opening you up to more damage by virtue of dilating your pupils.




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