Sunscreen is important to prevent sunburns and skin cancer, but did you know UV light can cause serious eye damage? In fact, overexposure to UV rays has been linked to a variety of eye problems.
What can you do?
- Avoid sources for UV radiation. Don’t stare directly at the sun and be aware of reflections from snow, water, sand and pavement. If you’re a welder, hairdresser, lighting technician, paint and resin worker, or work outdoors, be sure you’re in the know about potential risks and how to avoid UV exposure.
- Protect your peepers. Wear sunglasses that are 100% UV blocking against both UVA and UVB rays, and are close-fitting with a wrap-around style frame to help keep light out, even over your contact lenses. These steps help protect against:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Eyelid skin cancer
- Corneal sunburn
- Age spots
- Tissue growths on the surface of the eye
- Stay informed. Get regular eye exams to monitor eye health, maintain good vision and keep up-to-date on the latest in UV protection.
- 10-4. Keep out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Children are at high risk. It’s estimated that 50% of lifetime exposure to UV happens before the age of 18. Keep children younger than six months out of direct sunlight, ensure children of all ages wear sunglasses and sun hats when outside and consider using a canopy or umbrella as a sun-shield when at the beach or in the back yard.
- Recognize the symptoms. If you’re experiencing immediate pain, an inflamed cornea, or an aversion to light, see your doctor of optometry right away.
Dr. Grewal can make specific recommendations to ensure your eyes are well-protected and to fit you with your perfect pair of sunglasses. Booking a comprehensive eye exam can identify early onset of eye-health conditions related to UV that may not have apparent symptoms.