Back in May, we discussed the importance of sunglasses how to choose the best pair for you. Now that we’re in the thick of summer (isn’t it nice?), let’s stick to the same tune and talk about the hot, shining sun.
July is UV Safety Month, and that should come as no surprise! The middle of summer is great to play outdoors and catch some rays. Be careful though, those rays could end up damaging your eyes permanently.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation. You can become temporarily blind after just a few hours from light reflected off of sand, snow, or water. This is due to the nature of light. When reflected off of flat surfaces, it becomes significantly more intense, or “polarized”. Exposure to these harmful rays can lead to several different eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer on the eyelids, and you can even get a sunburn on your cornea (called photokeratitis). Ouch!
It is absolutely crucial to keep your eyes protected when you go outside. Here is a quick list of ways to guard your eyes against the sun, while still having fun.
How to best protect eyes from harmful UV rays.
- Wear sunglasses with proper UV protection. Not all sunglasses are made the same. Sunglasses that don’t explicitly state that they are 100% UVA and UVB protected probably aren’t protected at all. At any rate, don’t take the risk- find a pair that has the protection. Shades without it are actually more harmful than wearing no sunglasses at all. They still make it darker, and when your eye senses less light, your pupils open. When your pupils open, they allow more light in, and therefore more UV rays. You could also opt for polarized lenses, which have a special coating that reduces that intense glare from polarized light. While not necessary to block out the majority of UV rays, polarized lenses are generally worth the extra money for the extra amount of comfort they provide
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Blocking out direct sunlight will greatly reduce exposure to harmful rays, and what better way than with a stylish hat? Pick out anything from a baseball cap to a sombrero, as long as it provides proper shade for your eyes.
- Stay Inside when possible.Opt for a day indoors every once in awhile, even when it’s sunny out. Go to a matinee, or to the gym to work out, especially if you don’t have the proper eye protection for the beach.
Summer fun doesn’t have to put your sight at risk. Follow these steps to stay safe, and contact us here at Hinsdale Eye Center to find out more about how you can protect your vision! Visit our optical shop in Hinsdale, IL to check out our wide selection of brand-name frames and shades.