With more people heading outdoors to enjoy the summer weather, it is appropriate that July is the time that we commemorate UV Safety Awareness Month. Ultraviolet rays can have a serious effect on your health, so it is important to be conscious of both the potential consequences and the ways that you can safeguard yourself. The team at Clarity Eye Group offers the following critical information:
Potential Consequences of UV Rays on the Eyes
Research has shown that years of prolonged sun exposure increase your risk for serious eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, which can debilitate your vision, especially as you age. It also boosts your chances of being diagnosed with eye cancer.
Our Huntington and Newport Beach patients are also highly susceptible to photokeratitis. When the sun reflects off the water and sand, the UV rays can cause what is essentially a sunburn on your cornea. Photokeratitis is often painful and can temporarily impair your vision.
Sun exposure is also linked to pterygium, a white growth that forms over your otherwise clear cornea. If a pterygium starts to impair your vision, you may need surgery to remove the growth.
Tips for Protecting Your Eyes from UV Rays
Now that you understand the potential damage your eyes face from UV rays, it is important to take steps to minimize your risks. Our eye doctors recommend the following:
- When choosing sunglasses, find a pair that filters out 99 or 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim. With most sunglasses, UV rays can still creep in through the sides or over the top, and a large hat can provide extra protection to cut down on that exposure.
- Do not let down your guard just because there are clouds. UV rays penetrate through the clouds, so be mindful of sun exposure even if it does not seem particularly sunny at the moment.
Think of Your Skin Too
Although we focus on eyecare at Clarity Eye Group, we obviously are concerned with our patients’ overall wellbeing. Your skin also needs protection from the sun, so be sure to wear and routinely reapply sunscreen with a high SPF level when you are outdoors. If possible, spend time in the shade around the lunchtime hours when the sun is at its peak brightness.
Let Clarity Eye Group Help
Come check out our Optical Boutique to find sunglasses that fit your style while also providing adequate protection from UV rays. And if you have noticed the quality of your vision degrade due to UV rays or any other factors, please schedule an appointment with our premier team of ophthalmologists by calling (714) 842-0651.