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How to Keep Your Eyes Protected This Summer

With summer rapidly approaching, it’s time to make sure we take the proper precautions.  It’s not only important to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but our eyes as well.  Since exposure to the sun can be damaging to our eyes, preparation is key in keeping them safe.  So what exactly is the relationship between the sun’s UV rays and our eyes?

Both short-term and long-term sun exposure to the sun can have damaging consequences.  Short-term exposure can cause conditions like photokeratitis, an inflammation of the cornea that can cause eye pain and discomfort — similar to a sunburn.  The effects of long-term sun exposure are much more serious, and can include:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Pterygia, or benign tissue growth
  • Skin cancer near the eyes

How to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

There are some simple, yet important, steps we can take to help protect our eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.  One of the most crucial steps is simply investing in the right pair of sunglasses.  When looking for a pair of sunglasses, it’s important to make sure that they block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays, as these will offer the greatest amount of protection.  Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also be an effective way to protect your eyes, as they will cover sun that can sneak in through the top or sides of your sunglasses.  Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the sun’s peak times – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Extra protection is advised during these times, as this is when the sun is the strongest.

It’s also important to remember that just because it’s cloudy outside, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t out.  The sun’s rays can pass through thin clouds, so sunglasses and hats are always important.

Ophthalmologist in Winchester

To learn more about the effects the sun can have on your eyes or how to stay protected, contact us today and schedule an appointment.  Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200.  We look forward to hearing from you

Posted in: Eye Health

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