According to our independent optometrists, too much UV light can raise the risk of various eye diseases over time, so knowing how the sun can affect you and your children this summer is important! Proper eye protection during the summer is vitally important to maintaining overall eye health.
Proper exposure to the sun can also be great for your vision when you’re properly protected! According to a study done by the Ohio State University College of Optometry, children who are exposed to more sunlight throughout the day are less likely to develop nearsightedness over time.
Understanding Types of UV Radiation
The sun emits two major types of UV radiation that can cause damage to the eye: UV-A and UV-B.
Overexposure to UV-A radiation can damage the macula, hurting your central vision. Too much UV-B radiation exposure can lead to damage in the corona and the lens of your eye. Understanding what you are trying to avoid will help you take steps to prevent damage to your eyes.
Four Ways to Protect Your Eyesight
Although the sun can be harmful, it’s still important to make sure you and your family are able to get great exercise and spend time outside. Here are a few tips for maintaining good eye health without having to hide from the sun completely.
- Choose sunglasses carefully
Not all sunglasses function the same way! It’s important to consider more than just style when grabbing a new pair of sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that are labeled with “100 percent UV protection” or glasses with larger lenses that wrap around the sides of your eyes. Just because your pair of sunglasses says it offers “UV protection” doesn’t mean it is protecting against both kinds of UV! If you’re not sure how efficient your sunglasses are, ask your doctor.
- Wear a hat
A hat with a 2- to 3-inch brim is ideal because it specifically protects the eyes. A dark underside to the brim can lower the amount of damaging UV rays your eyes and skin are exposed to. Many bucket hats and floppy hats are available for even the youngest of children to wear.
- Wear proper eye protection even when it’s cloudy
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. It’s important to make sure you still wear your sunglasses even if the sun isn’t visibly shining.
- Limit exposure to the sun during peak hours
The sun’s rays are most aggressive from 10AM to 4PM. It’s important to stay in the shade, apply sunscreen frequently, and wear other protective gear — especially during these hours.
At Longe Optical, we offer a wide variety of high quality, name brand sunglasses that can be purchased with non-prescription or prescription lenses. Let us help you have a safe and happy summer by scheduling your annual eye exam today. While you’re here, pick up a pair of stylish sunglasses that will keep you safe this summer!