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Safeguarding Your Eyes This Summer: The Importance of UV Protection

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Our eyes are incredible organs that allow us to take in the world around us. However, they are also sensitive and susceptible to harm, including from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While we often think of UV protection in terms of sunscreen and skin care, we must also remember how important it is to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Below we’ll explore UV radiation, the potential risks it poses to our eye health, and the practical steps we can take to protect our vision. To learn more about UV radiation and how to protect your eyes, don’t hesitate to contact Disera Optical.

Understanding the Threat

UV radiation primarily comes from the sun, but it's worth noting that other sources, like welding machines and tanning beds, can also emit harmful UV rays. If you're exposed to excessive UV radiation for an extended period, you may experience a condition called photokeratitis, which is essentially a "sunburn of the eye."

Symptoms of photokeratitis include eye pain, eyelid twitches, extreme sensitivity to bright light, and in severe cases, long-term eye issues. The more your eyes are exposed to UV rays over time, the higher the risk of developing serious eye problems later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and even cancer.

The Power of Protection

Thankfully, there are simple and powerful ways to protect our eyes from the damaging effects of UV radiation. By following these steps, we can significantly reduce the risk of eye damage and maintain healthy vision in the long run.

Wear Sunglasses:

Investing in high-quality sunglasses is an excellent first line of defense against UV radiation. The American Optometric Association recommends selecting sunglasses specifically designed for extended outdoor exposure and block 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. Look for sunglasses labeled with UV400 or 100% UV protection to ensure they meet this bar. Also, try and choose wraparound or oversized frames to cover not just your central vision but your peripheral vision too.

Wear a Hat:

Complement your sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat to provide additional protection to your eyes, face, and neck. This simple trick not only adds a fashionable touch to your outfit but also acts as a physical barrier, reducing the amount of UV radiation reaching your eyes.

Choose UV-Protective Contact Lenses:

For those who wear contact lenses, considering UV-protective options is a great idea. Some contact lenses are specially designed to block UV rays, providing an extra layer of defense for your eyes. Talk to your eye doctor to explore if this option would be suitable for you.

Special Considerations

It's important to remember that some people need to take extra precautions when it comes to UV protection. Patients who have recently had cataract surgery or are taking medications that increase sensitivity to light should be especially careful to protect their eyes.

Protecting our eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation is vital to maintain great eye health. By taking simple precautions like wearing sunglasses, donning a hat, and considering UV-protective contact lenses, we can minimize the risk of eye damage caused by overexposure to UV rays. By embracing these practices, we can enjoy the outdoors while safeguarding our eyes for years to come. Give Disera Optical a call to learn more about protecting your eyes from the sun.