Its official, summer is here! For many of us summer means exploring the best of Britain or escaping somewhere more tropical.

To make sure your summer is full of fun Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, Harley Street eye health expert has put together some of her top tips for beating summer’s hidden health hazards.

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and a time for you to relax, however, don’t forget to look after your eyes! Holidays can bring a host of hazards which can leave your eyes feeling dry, itchy and irritated” says Dr Sabrina.

The Hazard: The Sun (UV Rays)

We all know about the damage UV rays can have on our skin, but less commonly known is the damage that UV rays can have on our eyes.

Dr Sabrina says…

Wearing sunglasses is a great form of protection, the essential holiday accessory. It’s important to wear sunglasses that help prevent your eyes from UV rays so look for a pair of sunglasses that will block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays, these have a ‘UV 400’ rating. Polarised lenses are also a good option for those who have particularly sensitive eyes.

If you believe that your eyes have already been affected by sun damage, you might notice strange spots of colour on your irises. If you do, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist because iris colour changes can indicate a higher sun damage and a risk of developing ocular melanoma.

The Hazard: Airplane Air

A lot of us will walk onto an airplane without a second thought about how it could impact our health. Planes create artificial pressure to keep the in-flight environment safe, but it’s not mimicking the air pressure down at sea level, it’s more like 6,000 to 8,000 feet up a mountain. This reduces blood flow to your skin causing it to dry out which then impacts your eyes due to the lack of moisture in your body.

Dr Sabrina says…

Preparation and hydration are key to being flight ready. Before boarding a long flight, I recommend the OPTASE Moist Heat Mask (£10.99 Boots) to loosen the eyes’ naturally hydrating oils and having an Optase Eye Spray (£15.99 Boots) in your hand luggage to conveniently hydrate your eyes and eyelids on board.

This triple threat can leave your eyes feeling irritated, itchy and red. Plus, there’s the potential for a rather unpleasant sand and salt cocktail in your eye. The unsterile saltwater or chlorinated water in pools are natural irritants for our eyes, and if we rub them with sandy hands it can scratch or damage the eyes and the delicate skin around them.

Dr Sabrina says…

Don’t rub your eyes, especially not with your hands, towel or the napkin which held your ice cream. Cleanse with OPTASE TTO Lid Wipes (£9.99 Boots) which contain tea tree oil, camomile, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to remove debris and refresh the skin. Avoid rubbing or pressing the eye too firmly whilst doing this to prevent further irritation.

The Hazard: Barbeque Smoke

We’re all guilty of leaning close to the barbeque to get a better smell of the delicious sausages or to get first pick of the grilled prawns. This however, can cause eyes to feel dry or even excessively watery due to direct contact with the smoke.

Dr Sabrina says…

Take care barbecuing this summer not only because of dry or irritated eyes, but because of the all-round dehydrating effects.  As well as causing eye irritation and watering, the fumes can also be absorbed through the skin and be harmful. Wear sunglasses if you are the one cooking, and if you’re not make sure to keep a few feet away and try Hycosan Fresh (£8.99 Boots) to keep your eyes lubricated.

The Hazard: Air Conditioning

Entering a room with air conditioning in the midst of the summer heat can feel like a great relief. Air conditioning however, can reduce the humidity in the air leading to dry skin and eyes, causing redness, itchiness and irritation and even recurring headaches or blurred vision.

Dr Sabrina says…

Stay hydrated! While it’s true that a glass of water is the best known way to stay replenished, there are plenty of ways to jazz up your H20. Try adding some slices of cucumber and fresh mint, or raspberries and sage. Layer the ingredients in the bottom of the bottle, fill with ice and water and leave to infuse in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can also rehydrate your eyes with preservative-free eye drops such as Hycosan Fresh (£8.99 Boots).