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Summer Eye Care: Protecting Your Vision

Maintaining healthy eyesight and vision is important for adults of all ages, but particularly important for those living with diabetes. Understanding your eye health can help better protect you as it keeps healthy practices top of mind. Eye diseases are usually caused by damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This can cause blurry vision, seeing spots, and vision loss. There are two main types of eye disease: retinopathy and macular edema. 

  • Retinopathy is the most common eye disease for those with diabetes. It is estimated 9.6 million people in the United States have diabetic retinopathy.2 This disease is caused by damage to the small blood vessels in the back of the eye. It can lead to blurry vision, seeing spots, and vision loss. 
  • Macular edema is swelling of the macula. The central part of the back of the eye gets swollen. This swelling can lead to blurry vision, distortion, and vision loss. 

Why Summer Eye Care Matters 

People living with diabetes need to take extra care of their eyes when outside because the sun’s rays can be harmful and make it more likely for diabetic retinopathy to develop or worsen. 

To maintain healthy vision, here are some tips for summer eye health: 

  • Wear a hat or sunglasses to shade your eyes from the sun. 
  • Stay hydrated by drinking fluids. Dehydration can lead to dry eyes. 
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. It can make your eyes dry, spread germs, and even hurt your cornea.  
  • If you wear contact lenses, take them out while swimming to minimize the risk of infection. 
  • Wear sunglasses with polarization. They can reduce light glare and eye strain. 

Regular eye exams are important during the summer months as having the eyes assessed early can help stop or control diabetic eye disease. By taking steps to protect your eyes, you can help keep your vision healthy and prevent further damage. 

Author:  Amanda Tovar RDN, LD, CDCES | CCS Health 

This site is for educational purposes only. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health. 


1. 11 best ways to Protect your eyes in summer (optometrist tips). Real Eyes Optometry. (2022, March 12).   

2. Lundeen, P. E. A. (2023, June 15). Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in the US in 2021. JAMA Ophthalmology.  

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Diabetic retinopathy. National Eye Institute.  

4. WebMD. (n.d.). Macular edema: Diabetes link, treatment, symptoms, & causes. WebMD.