July is UV Safety Month
While most people think about protecting their skin from the damaging UV rays, the eyes are often forgotten. The reality is that exposure to UV rays can cause significant damage to the eyes, including the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the eye, including cancerous growths.
While the most common exposure is being out in the sun, tanning beds and sunlamps also expose you to UV rays, which means it’s important to wear proper eye protection in any of these situations.
What are Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?
Ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, are a form of radiation that naturally comes from the sun. Tanning beds and sum lamps also lead to exposure to UV rays. UV rays can penetrate your skin, and cause changes to your body.
Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
- Don’t focus on color or darkness of sunglass lenses: Select sunglasses that block UV rays. Don’t be deceived by color or cost. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag or how dark the sunglass lenses are.
- Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.
- Choose wrap-around styles: Ideally, your sunglasses should wrap all the way around to your temples, so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.
- Wear a hat: In addition to your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your eyes.
- Don’t rely on contact lenses: Even if you wear contact lenses with UV protection, remember your sunglasses.
- Don’t be fooled by clouds: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and thin clouds. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summertime.
- Protect your eyes during peak sun times: Sunglasses should be worn whenever outside, and it’s especially important to wear sunglasses in the early afternoon and at higher altitudes, where UV light is more intense.
- Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun at any time, including during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, damage to the eye’s retina from solar radiation.
- Don’t forget the kids: Everyone is at risk, including children.
- Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
Schedule an Eye Exam Today!
Ready to schedule an eye exam, or looking into Cataract or LASIK surgery? As one of Texas’ leading Cataract & LASIK surgery centers, our goal is to provide our patients with superior eye care and outcomes. In addition to providing our patients with the latest breakthroughs in technology, we pride ourselves in offering a personalized experience for each and every patient. Come see the Whitsett Vision Group difference today – call us at 713-365-9099 or request a consultation online!