5 Tips for Talking to Patients About Protecting Their Eyes this Summer

We all love spending more time outside during the summer. But that means more exposure to UV rays and not all patients know the proper way to protect their eyes. Here’s how you can talk to your patients about the importance of proper summer eye care and protection.

1 | Emphasize the Necessity of Sunglasses

Most patients generally have a pair of sunglasses on hand. But now is a good time to remind them why they are necessary. Remember that not all patients understand terms that are second nature to doctors. So explain why UV rays are harmful as well as the benefits of polarized sunglasses in layman terms. Stress that even on cloudy days, they should still wear sunglasses while outside since UV rays can go through clouds. For patients with children, remind them of the importance of protecting their child’s vision with sunglasses. Consider writing a blog on what you recommend when looking for sunglasses and share that on your socials and in a newsletter to patients. You can even promote specific brands that you offer!

2 | Ask About Medications

Patients may not realize that certain medications can increase photosensitivity, which can increase susceptibility to eye damage from UV rays. These photosensitizing drugs include:

  • Antibiotics containing tetracycline
  • Some birth control and estrogen pills
  • Certain anti-inflammatory relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium

When sending out reminders for next appointments, be sure that you encourage patients to bring a full list of medications to their next exam. 

3 | Discuss Safety Glasses

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, sports and outdoor activities, such as lawn mowing, cause thousands of eye injuries each year, with 90% of those accidents being preventable with protective eyewear. The most common types of eye trauma during sports are: 

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Blunt injuries
  • Penetrating injuries

Bring this up and reiterate how important it is for your patients to wear protective eyewear while participating in certain sports and other outdoor activities like lawn care to protect their eyes and their vision. Send out a newsletter about safety glasses and encourage patients who participate in any of these activities to book an appointment with you to get a pair of prescription safety glasses. 

4 | Don’t Forget Contact Lens Education

According to a CDC report, 45 million contact lens wearers practice at least some behaviors that put them at risk for serious eye infections, such as not removing their contacts before going for a dip in the pool. This report also stated that one-third of contact lens wearers say they never received any lens care recommendations from their eye care provider. So make sure you are educating your patients on proper contact lens hygiene dos and don’ts. Share some social posts and a newsletter with these dos and don’ts to reach as many patients as possible. 

5 | Address Dry Eye Issues

Summer heat, wind, air conditioning, nasal sprays for allergies, and other elements can affect the tear film of the eye, leading to dry eye. Educate patients on symptoms of dry eye and encourage them to call your office if they are experiencing these issues. Post about this common eye issue on your socials during the summer and send out a newsletter to patients promoting a blog on dry eye–and don’t forget to include a link to book an appointment! 

Key Takeaways

Most patients know it’s important to protect their eyes and their vision. However, not all patients know the best ways to do just that. By sharing these tips on your blog, socials, and newsletter, plus discussing summer eye safety with your patients during appointments, you can help them protect their vision for years to come!

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