Can The Summer Heat Harm Your Eyes?

We’ve all been taught from a young age just how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun. Many people understand the need for sun cream, but when it comes to sunglasses, there seems to be a 50/50 divide between people who take them seriously and people who don’t.

Sunglasses may have become a fashion statement over the years, but when first designed, their sole purpose was to protect your eyes from the sun. So, what consequences await if you don’t protect your eyes? Read on to discover how the summer heat can harm your eyes.

How Heat Affects Your Eyes

The heat can actually harm your eyes in more ways than one. The following four conditions are the most common during summer:


Conjunctivitis is a common problem that occurs in the summer months due to an influx of bacterial infections. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include sticky discharge, red eyes and an itching sensation.

The most frustrating part about conjunctivitis is that it's highly contagious. This means that, if you develop it, you won’t be allowed in contact with anyone until it clears. This gives conjunctivitis the power to completely wipe out any summer plans if not treated quickly. The best type of treatment for this issue is antibiotic eye drops.

Dry Eye

It’s important to drink lots of water during the summer months otherwise your body may start to dehydrate. The same thing occurs with the natural tears in your eyes - if the temperature is high, these tears evaporate and leave you with dry eyes.

Similar to conjunctivitis, symptoms of dry eye include red and itchy eyes. The best way to overcome this problem is by staying hydrated and using eye drops with high moisture content.



Styes are red lumps that develop along your lash line. They can sometimes be painful and often irritate the eye whenever you blink.

Just like conjunctivitis, styes often form in the summer due to the influx of bacterial infections in the air. These particles have the ability to block the glands sitting around your eyelid, thus creating a lump (stye).

Styes often go away on their own, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s advised to avoid wearing contact lenses or make-up until it completely clears up.

Summer Allergies

Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, with hay fever being the most common. Hay fever occurs when the pollen count is high, typically during spring and summer. The histamine which our bodies release during this allergic reaction often causes our eyes to go red and get itchy.

When it comes to seasonal allergies, over-the-counter eye drops will usually relieve the irritation. In terms of hay fever, you can also take hay fever relief tablets.

How To Protect Your Eyes In The Summer Heat

With so many threats to the health of your eyes during the summer, it’s worth taking plenty of precautionary measures to stay on the safe side.

  • Wear daily disposable lenses instead of monthly lenses. This helps to ensure you always wear a fresh, bacteria-free pair of lenses.
  • Wear sunglasses when outside.
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Try to avoid wearing too much eye make-up (need tips? Click here!).
  • Stay hydrated!


Check out our guide on how to take care of your eyes in the summer for more information.