Most of us know that wearing sunscreen is essential to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, but we often forget to protect our eyes from the same dangers. Overexposure to UV radiation can cause various eye-related problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of UV protection for your eyes and how you can take measures to keep them healthy.
1. UV rays can cause eye damage
Protecting your eyes from UV radiation is crucial to avoid a range of eye problems, such as cataracts, corneal sunburn, and age-related macular degeneration. According to the World Health Organization, up to 20% of cataract cases are caused by prolonged UV exposure. Additionally, corneal sunburn (also known as “snow blindness”) is a painful condition that can happen if your eyes are exposed to the sun’s rays without protection. Finally, age-related macular degeneration is one of the top causes of vision loss among individuals over 60.
2. UV rays are everywhere
Even on cloudy days or during the winter, UV radiation can penetrate clouds and reflect off surfaces such as snow and water. That means you should wear UV-protective eyewear year-round, regardless of the weather.
3. Not all sunglasses are created equal
While any pair of sunglasses can offer some UV protection, it’s important to choose a pair that provides 100% UVA and UVB protection. Look for eyewear that’s labeled “UV400” or “100% UV protection,” and avoid purchasing inexpensive, “fad” sunglasses or those that don’t specify a UV rating.
4. UV protection shouldn’t stop with sunglasses
In addition to wearing UV-protective sunglasses, you can further shield your eyes by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or visor. This can help prevent direct sunlight from reaching your eyes, especially during peak sun hours.
5. Don’t forget about kids
While adults tend to wear sunglasses more frequently, children’s eyes are just as susceptible to UV damage. In fact, kids are at a greater risk because their eyes are still developing. To protect their eyes, make sure they wear high-quality sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. You can also choose fun and stylish frames that your kids will love, making it more likely that they’ll wear them consistently.
If you have any concerns about your eye health or need help choosing the right pair of sunglasses, schedule an appointment with our eye doctors in Bailey’s Crossroads today!