A sunburn on your eyeballsLijphoto/Shutterstock
Yes, you read that right. It’s called photokeratitis, and it can happen in just a few hours of exposure to strong, unblocked sun. If you don’t wear sunglasses regularly, you’re also putting yourself at an increased risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on your eye. According to the Vision Council, people are very lax about eye protection: A recent survey found that only 31 percent wear UV-protective sunglasses every time they go outside and just 44 percent wear them at the beach. This type of damage is “cumulative and irreversible.” So consistently wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to avoid a problem that’s a lot bigger than crow’s feet. Check out these 39 simple habits that protect your eyes over the summer and all year long.
E. coli at your local beachcontent diller/Shutterstock
We’ve all heard about E. coli popping up in summertime food…but in the sand on the beach? Researchers at the University of Hawaii say that being exposed to fecal contamination and its associated bacteria on even the most beautiful sandy shore is a real risk. They found that fecal bacterial levels in the sand were 10 to 100 times higher than in the surrounding water. This may be because bacteria decay at a slower rate in the sand than in seawater, so the bugs accumulate in “biofilms” and in areas that the sun can’t reach. To avoid potential infection, make sure to cover any cuts and also wash your hands frequently.