You already know that UV rays are bad for your skin. But did you know that they are harmful to your eyes as well?
UV rays can damage your eyes and put you at elevated risk for developing macular degeneration, cataracts, and even cancer. And UV damage is cumulative so it is even more important to protect children’s eyes early in life.
July is UV safety month so we decided to talk about sunglasses and why they are so important. The sun emits UV radiation which can cause vision problems and damage to your eyes. Fortunately, there is a way you can enjoy the warm summer days and keep your eyes safe.
Sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory – they also keep your eyes safe from harmful UV rays. Here are five tips on how you can keep your vision safe this summer:
1. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t just assume that your current sunglasses are protecting you. Wearing sunglasses that don’t block any UV rays is kind of like putting on sunscreen that doesn’t work. If you are unsure about your sunglasses, you can take them to your eye doctor to have them evaluated for safety.
2. Wear sunglasses even when you are in the shade.
Sitting in the shade reduces your exposure to UV rays, but it doesn’t protect your eyes completely. You are still exposed to UV rays that are reflected off of buildings, the sidewalk, and the neighborhood swimming pool.
3. Choose contacts that offer UV protection.
If you wear contacts, choose a brand that offers UV protection. However, keep in mind that they do not replace sunglasses. UV protectant contacts are a good idea but they provide incomplete coverage.
4. Always wear sunglasses between 10AM and 2PM.
You should wear sunglasses anytime you are outside, but especially during the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is the time of day when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
5. For complete protection, add a wide-brimmed hat.
Sunglasses are a great form of protection but if you want total coverage, throw on a wide-brimmed hat. This will ensure that your eyes are protected and you can enjoy spending time outdoors.
By wearing sunglasses this summer, you will be protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays while still participating in the outdoor activities you enjoy. For more information about how you can protect your vision this summer, request an appointment with VisionFirst Eye Center at one of our four Alabama locations!