Summer is here. Long days, hot sun and UV rays leaping around like toddlers in a bounce house. The sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays put your patients at risk of serious short-term and long-term eye problems but prevention is easy: Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation. But which sunglasses are up to the task of protecting those precious peepers?
Here’s some handy info to share with patients when choosing the sun-specs that will keep their eyes safe from sun damage: Look for a tag that says 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB or 100 percent protection against UV 400. The darkness of a lens, color or price doesn’t necessarily indicate the strength of UV protection, so be sure to check the label.
There’s no doubt about the consequences of not protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. If eyes are exposed to strong sunlight for too long without proper protection, UV rays can burn the cornea and cause temporary blindness in a matter of hours. Long-term sun exposure is linked to more serious eye disease, such as cataracts, eye cancer, and growths on or near the eye. And a lifetime of exposure can increase the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
And consider wearing a hat with a broad brim along with your shades to complete the anti-UV ensemble. They’ve been shown to significantly cut exposure to harmful rays as well.
Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!