It’s vital to protect your eyes from the damage caused by even a single outing. And everyone is at risk.
Ultraviolet radiation is composed of invisible high-energy UV-A and UV-B rays from the sun – the same rays that cause skin cancer, wrinkles and premature aging. Similar to sunburns on your skin, burns on the outer surface of the eyes usually disappear within a few days, but can lead to complications later on. So when you protect yourself from the sun, don’t just think about your skin – think about your eyes, too.
• During the summer months, the level of ultraviolet radiation is three times greater than in the winter.
• Reflected sunlight off water, snow and pavement can be the most dangerous type of UV light because it’s intensified.
• Of the cataracts sustained by 20 million people, an estimated 20 percent might be caused by UV rays.
• Every year, 3.2 million people go blind from eye conditions caused due to prolonged UV exposure.
What to do
Have fun in the sun, but remember to protect your eyes. Wear the right kind of sunglasses and broad-rimmed hat whenever stepping outside, even in overcast conditions. Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day, as the sun’s rays can inflict damage through the clouds.
Ask your eye care professional. Sunglasses don’t necessarily mean UV protection. UV protection isn’t a function of the color of the lens. Certain clear lenses can protect you from harmful UV exposure, too.
Don’t forget protection for the kids. Children are more vulnerable than adults to dangerous UV rays, and should wear hats and sunglasses. Keep children away from the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
An annual comprehensive eye exam is another important way to monitor and protect your vision health from UV rays. Early detection is crucial to preventing and treating eye diseases and conditions.
– Courtesy of Discovery Eye Care Optometry