Especially after the spring quarantine, summertime means more time outside and more time in the sun. We all use sunscreen to protect our skin, but don’t forget to protect your eyes. It is important to wear proper eye protection at an early age to protect your eyes from years of ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
To be eye smart in the outdoor sun, here are some sunglasses tips:
- Wear sunglasses labeled “100% UV Protection.”
- Only use sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Bigger sunglasses are better: more coverage lowers the amount of UV entering the eye.
- Darker sunglasses don’t protect more. Darker lenses may allow you to feel more comfortable when it is brighter, but they don’t affect UV entering the eye.
- Color of the sunglasses doesn’t matter.
- Polarized lenses reduce glare, not UV. Polarized lenses decrease glare from surfaces like water or pavement.
- Cost of the sunglasses shouldn’t be a factor. Less expensive sunglasses with 100% UV Protection are as effective as pricier options.
In addition to sunglasses, be careful in UV-intense conditions. Sunlight is strongest from midday to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water.
Long hours in the sun without eye protection can increase your risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, eye growths (called pterygium) and eye cancers. Diseases like cataracts and eye cancers can take many years to develop. Each time you are in the sun without protection, you add damage that increases your risk.
You and your family will be eye smart and have a sun safe summer by limiting your amount of sun exposure during midday, wearing sunglasses with 100% UV-A and UV-B protection and wearing a hat with a brim. Also, stop by at ouroptical shops in Milford, Shelton,Orange, and Branfordto browse the wide selection of sunglasses for children, teenagers, and adults—make protecting your vision a reality in Summer 2020.
Look out for the upcoming July 15th Webinar at 6:30 pm with Dr. Jennifer Galvin and Dr. Ronnie Klein at Modern Dermatology on “Sun Safety: Eyes and Skin.”
Blog post by Jennifer A. Galvin, MD, a Board-Certified ophthalmologist with fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at Eye Physicians & Surgeons PC.
Call Eye Physicians & Surgeons PC at (203) 878-1236 to make an appointment today: Your Vision is Our Focus.
Image credit: American Association of Ophthalmology.