Summer is the time for ultimate relaxation mode. But maybe you don’t want to at relaxed ― at least when it comes to eye safety.

Some of the most enjoyable aspects of the sunny season – the wind, the waves, the intoxicating combination of sunscreen and frozen cocktails, the sun itself – can be damaging to our eyes if we don’t take protective measures.

These are the biggest risk factors and mistakes eye experts see people make in the summer:

The emphasis is on fashionable sunglasses rather than protective sunglasses.

Sun damage is the most pressing and obvious culprit of all. Leaving eyes unprotected can lead to eye problems such as cataracts, retinal disease and even eye cancer.

Therefore Doctor Nicole BajicAn ophthalmologist at the Cleveland Clinic recommends wearing sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection, or UV 400, to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

“What’s interesting is that the cost of sunglasses doesn’t correlate with effectiveness,” she told HuffPost. “You can have cheap sunglasses that provide adequate UV protection. You just have to make sure it’s on the label. UV protection isn’t that expensive to add; sometimes designer sunglasses actually provide less protection. You have to look at the label.”

While the price tag isn’t necessarily the best indicator of how effective a pair of sunglasses will be, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a pair. Despite what the fashion industry would have us believe, the trend for tinted lenses isn’t the best choice when it comes to protection.

“The brighter colors are not good,” Robert Messinger, a recently retired optometrist from New Jersey, told HuffPost. “They don’t provide enough protection and they let in too much light.”

The problem is that when you cover your eyes with any form of protection, your pupils think you are inside, so they dilate. When the coverage is inadequate, the combination of dilated pupils and more incoming light puts your eyes at risk for damage.

For those looking to liven up their summer with a stylish statement, Messinger recommends saving those colorful lenses for evening hours or indoors — unless they’re green. Gray or green G-15 lenses, like those found on many classic Ray-Bans, are among the most effective lenses for sun protection, Messinger says.

Not checking your eye drops before using them.

Whether it’s dehydration, allergies, alcohol consumption, accidentally over-applying sunscreen, or an annoying beach neighbor who blows his towel in your face, many factors that cause red, itchy, or dry eyes can be remedied with artificial tears. They have a long shelf life, so you can use them all summer long.

But Bajic and Messinger agree that now is not the time to cut costs when it comes to finding the right people.

“There have been some problems with artificial tears,” Messinger said, noting recent recalls of certain store-bought eye drops that have led to bacterial infections, vision problems and blindness in some consumers. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration found that “sanitary conditions in manufacturing facilities” contributed to the contamination of the products.

But don’t panic ― Bajic said the FDA keeps updated reports on which brands have been recalled, and once you find the right one, you can use it as often as needed to flush out your eye. You can also get an approved brand or prescription through your eye care provider.

“We recommend using them up to four times a day, but you can switch to preservative-free versions, which you can use up to 10 times a day,” Bajic says.

Additionally, you should make sure your eye drops aren’t expired or that you’re not using a bottle that came into contact with your eyes during an infection. Some eye drops even need to be thrown away several days after opening or if you used them during an infection. (For example, preservative-free versions have a much higher risk of contamination after use and may need to be thrown away 24 hours after opening, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.) Check the label before using.

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Thomas Barwick via Getty Images

If you wear contact lenses, be careful when swimming.

Fireworks. Just… fireworks.

One of the activities most damaging to your eyes probably occurs once the sun goes down.

“We’re coming up on the Fourth of July, the worst day of the year for all ophthalmologists,” Bajic said. “We see a lot of trauma on that day, especially with little ones, but just everybody ― if you’re going to use sparklers or fireworks, wear eye protection. One of the biggest ways we see trauma is when people use them after they’ve been drinking and they haven’t followed the safety precautions. Especially if they think it’s a misfire, they think it didn’t go off and they look down the barrel.”

Bajic said ideally you should avoid fireworks altogether, but if you do, don’t look down the barrel. “I can’t even be near popping champagne corks now; I look away and shield my eyes. I’ve seen too much.”

Wearing contact lenses while swimming.

Eye safety is crucial when it comes to swimming, especially if you wear contact lenses. Both Messinger and Bajic say you should never swim with contact lenses in.

“Contact lenses are sponges; they soak up everything,” Messinger said. “In the pool, of course, you have chlorine — you don’t want that in your eyes all day. But in the ocean or other bodies of water, you have bugs. Your body has a mechanism to flush things out and clean them out, but with contact lenses, you’re keeping that stuff in your eyes for a much longer period of time.”

That provides a perfect environment for horrible, sight-threatening bacterial infections, Bajic said. The only exception, she said, is if you wear daily disposable contact lenses and throw them away immediately after swimming.

If you have eye pain or irritation that doesn’t go away after flushing your eyes with water or artificial tears, Messenger and Bajic recommend visiting your eye doctor rather than seeking help elsewhere.

“If you have severe eye pain or it’s getting worse, go to your local ophthalmologist,” Bajic said. “People go to the ER or urgent care, and they’re great, but they don’t have the kind of equipment that we have in eye clinics. We can see in great detail what’s going on.”