Summer is finally here! As we all reach for sunscreen to protect our skin, do not forget about your eyes as well, and reach for those sunglasses too. Just as UV rays can be harmful to your skin, they can be damaging to your eye health. Short-term unprotected high exposure to UV radiation can cause photokeratitis, which is basically sunburn of the eyes marked by painful, red eyes and sensitivity to light. Long-term exposure to UV rays can accelerate macular degeneration and cataracts, serious eye conditions that can cause vision impairment or loss.
Important features to look for in sunglasses is that they block 100% UVA and UVB. Larger curved lenses protect more of the delicate skin around the eyes from aging. Eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on the body, so it is more at risk for sunlight damage. Polarized lenses, a nice feature, help reduce glare, which really make your eyes more comfortable. They are ideal for skiing, all water sports, driving, or just lazy days at the beach!
Children are especially susceptible to eye damage from the sun. A key point to remember is the lenses in a child's eye do not block as much UV rays as an adults. Follow same precautions as you would for an adult. Be sure to choose sunglasses that fit their smaller faces,select impact resistant lenses, and lenses large enough to shield the entire eye.
Follow these points to ensure you and your family are protected from the dangerous effects of long term exposure to UV radiation. Remember, as you reach for that sunscreen and beach umbrella, you need to think about your eye health as well; so, don't forget your sunglasses. Have a great summer and stay protected!