When you’re out playing or working outdoors this summer, protection from the sun is of the utmost importance. In addition to applying sunscreen frequently, people need to also remember to protect their eyes from harmful radiation. According to the American Optometric Association, overexposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, or even skin cancer around the eyelids. Some people may also experience sunburn of the eyes, which is typically accompanied by blurred vision, redness, and temporary vision loss. In severe cases, sun damage to the eyes can result in blindness.
To prevent such damage, it is important to always wear protective sunglasses or contact lenses. The AOA strongly suggests that people wear protective lenses in all types of weather – even on cloudy or wintery days. Lenses should block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. People who are visually impaired often benefit from brown or amber-tinted lenses because they increase contrast while reducing light intensity. Gray-colored lenses are another excellent choice for filtering out harmful light rays.
Parents should remind their children and teenagers to protect their eyes from the sun, especially on days where they are outside for long stretches of time. For more information about preserving your vision, or for suggestions about what kind of protective lenses to purchase, contact your True Care Advantage optometrist. Your membership will allow you to save money on appointments and help you keep your eyes healthy.