You probably know that too much sun exposure can be harmful to your body including sunburns, fatigue, dehydration and even skin cancer risks, but the ultraviolet (UV) rays can be just as harmful to your eyes.
UV damage to the eye can cause growths on the surface of the eye called pinguecula or pterygium, cataracts, or eye surface inflammation. UV damage has also be linked to age-related macular degeneration.
UV Risk Factors
There are a number of risk factors to your UV ray exposure including geographical location, altitude, time of day, and medications. UV rays tend to be at its highest peak between 10 am and 2 pm and depending on where you live, you may be at an increased risk for exposure if you live in a higher altitude location. You can also be more sensitive to the sun depending on certain medications you are taking.
UV Protection Tips
Wear sunglasses as often as possible while outdoors. The type of sunglasses is also very important to ensure you are getting the best protection. Make sure to pick sunglasses that are labeled as “100 percent UV protection” or “UV400”. These glasses protect your eyes from both UVA and UVB radiation. You can also pick larger frames to help protect more surface area around the eyes and on the side. You can also discuss with one of our opticians different lens options that can help with glare such as polarized lenses and anti-reflective coatings.
In addition to sunglasses, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can help reduce your exposure.
Children need eye protection too
Don’t forget about your little one too. Children need sunglasses as well and are at risk because they tend to be more in the sun than adults. Their eyes can be much more sensitive as well. Protecting your child’s eyes at an earlier stage can help reduce their risks of other discomfort and symptoms later on.