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29/05/2020

Since Saturday, May 2, sports outings were allowed, there is one activity that stands out from the rest: running. In the context of a pandemic and in the current situation of lifting of lockdown, running is an effective sport both to find the perfect excuse to leave home, and to lose the extra kilos that have been gained during the lockdown. An activity that also, with due precautions, brings numerous health benefits.

To the sports advice to avoid injuries to novice runners, some recommendations have been added in relation to the pandemic situation; such as the warning to keep, and even increase the safety distance by running diagonally to other athletes and, otherwise, the recommendation to wear a mask, among others.

We include a series of recommendations from Dr. Victor Charoenrook, an ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Center, to recognize which eye ailments and discomforts are common in the practice of running; and some specific equipment tips to increase security and improve the experience:

Glasses that cover the sides

This kit allows athletes to protect themselves broadly: “When running outdoors, your eyes are exposed to the weather; heat or cold, wind or even leaves or particles in the environment. Now we must also protect ourselves from microdroplets issued by other runners when breathing, which can be a source of Covid-19 contagion and unfortunately not only affect our visual health, "says the doctor.

Tearing, blurred vision, and irritation

“When running, the air current can increase the evaporation of the natural tear from our eyes, producing dry eyes. The reflex tearing caused by the eyes when drying, the stinging and the blurred vision are the main symptoms of this ailment and, during the practice of this discipline, they can be considered as normal. However, these complications are effectively resolved with the use of glasses, which protect us from external environmental factors," says Charoenrook. "In the heat, sweat can fall from the forehead into the eyes, causing stinging and irritation. You should also wear a cap or a headband to prevent sweat from entering the eyes," says the specialist.

Don't rub your eyes

"You should not rub your eyes because your hands also sweat and we can introduce sweat into our eyes or even cause deformations in the cornea," explains the doctor. This warning is more valid than ever since “the eyes are a source of Covid-19 contagion and a point without protection on many occasions. In case of inadvertently touching our eyes, it is advisable to wash them well with physiological serum or artificial tears without preservatives to try to eliminate as much as possible the presence of viruses,” says the ophthalmologist.

"If we combine these recommendations with a constant and light training, adequate warm up, hydration according to the activity and stretching after practice, running can become one of the best, safest and healthiest activities we can do", the doctor concludes.

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