Sunglasses are not JUST for fashion!
Sunglasses: More Than Just a Fashion Accessory
Summer has finally arrived, and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are the strongest they’ve been all year. When enjoying time outdoors, it’s essential to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses and hats. Overexposure to the summer sun’s strong rays can burn the eyes’ corneas and cause painful, temporary blindness.
A lesser known danger of sun exposure is the risk of sunburnt eyes or photo keratitis. A mild case of photo keratitis can feel as if there is sand stuck in the eyes, which is caused by layers of the cornea peeling following the sunburn. Extreme cases are described as feeling as if the eyeballs are on fire. If you experience these symptoms, see an ophthalmologist right away.
In the long term, unprotected exposure to the sun can also contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration and even lead to tumors that may require surgical removal.
To ensure your eyes are protected this summer, follow these EyeSmart tips:
• Go 100 percent! Regardless of the cost or color of your shades, wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection, make sure they block both UV-A and UV-B rays and wear them anytime you are outside or driving during the day.
• Top it off. Wear a hat with at least a three-inch brim to supplement your sunglass protection.
• Beware of reflective surfaces. When at the beach or in the water, remember that UV light reflected off sand, water or pavement can also damage the eyes.
• Don’t be fooled by clouds. The sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds.
For fabulous sunglasses and styles check out our optical shops in one of our 3 beautiful offices!
For more information about being EyeSmart in the sun, visit geteyesmart.org.