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We all know that our skin needs protecting from the sun during the summer, but some of us may forget about protecting our eyes too.

According to Feel Good Contacts optician Tina Patel, you should be applying sunscreen to your eyelids – an area many of us probably skip while protecting the rest of our body.

“It is important to apply sun cream to all areas of skin that are exposed to the UV and that includes your eyelids,” she insisted, noting that the sun cream should be applied “with care” as the skin is delicate.

Even with careful application, SPF may end up getting into your eyes, resulting in a burning feeling – but don’t panic.

“Getting sun cream in your eyes is unlikely to cause permanent damage. But it will cause a burning sensation,” the expert warned. “This is because the chemicals in sun cream will irritate the tear layer in your eye and cause a shift in pH levels.”

If you do get sun cream in your eyes, which happens to most of us, you should use an eyewash to flush it out. Before you do this, you should make sure your hands are clean and remove contact lenses, if you have any in.

“If you do not have access to preservative-free eyedrops or saline, then you can use clean running water,” Tina advised. “Finally, if the discomfort persists or you experience severe pain or your vision is affected, seek medical attention.”

Other than sun cream, there are other ways to protect your eyes from the sun, such as hats and sunglasses.

“Broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses help shade the face and keep sun out of your eyes. Finally, seek shade where possible and avoid the sun at its hottest point in the day,” Tina suggested.