Riding the heatwave

Temperatures are set to soar across the UK this weekend. OT  offers some helpful eye health tips

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It’s well-known that the British love to talk about the weather. Perhaps because it’s so changeable and there’s not always a guarantee of sunshine, as I’ve often found when packing for a staycation.

For those that are living in or visiting England and Wales, it won’t be a stereotypical British summer weekend, as the heatwave across the country continues.

As with any promise of sunshine you’ll most likely witness people flocking to a nearby beach, lido, or park to enjoy the weather. Staying cool will be at the top of my list, while I’m sure many others will be basking in the sunshine and rightly so, if done safely.

Not intending to put a damper on the promise of the glorious weather and partly to steer away from further weather ramblings, there are important health considerations to keep in mind, especially if you’re seeing vulnerable or elderly patients.

Earlier this week the UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office issued a Level 3 heat-health alert in London, the East of England and the South East and as of today (14 July) this has been extended to the East Midlands and South West regions.

If you’re looking for more information you can read guidance issued by the UK Health Security Agency, Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England in the Heatwave Plan for England

Extreme changes in our climate mean that our health and our patients’ health is likely to become impacted.

So how will this affect your patients? Maybe your patients are presenting more frequently or at times of the year you didn’t expect.

Perhaps you’re seeing a rise in conditions such as dry eye potentially caused by extended periods of time spent in air-conditioned rooms or maybe you’re seeing more people with hayfever like symptoms or allergies?

You'll probably all be well-versed in regards to summer eye health related messages, but you may not be aware of the AOP’s and OT’s resources available at your fingertips.

For eye health professionals seeking information to give to patients on common conditions linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, the AOP’s SPF for your eyes campaign has a range of materials. The AOP created a range of resources for patients which can be used in your practice, on your website and on your social media channels. 

For patients suffering with dry eye, online information for patients can be found on the AOP website

To help relieve dry eye symptoms brought on by allergies and hayfever, OT recently reported on a new spray by Théa Pharmaceuticals.

If this topic has sparked your interest or you’d like to learn more on ocular allergies OT’s CPD article, Ocular allergic disorders, written by Dr Sandeep Kaur Dhallu, provides an overview of allergic eye disease with some interesting learnings.