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UV Safety

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UV Safety – Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

Did you know? July is National UV Safety Month!

Spending time outdoors and enjoying safe exposure to sunlight actually has health benefits. For instance, a dose of natural sunlight can improve sleep, thanks to light-sensitive cells in our eyes that guide our body’s wake-sleep cycles. Research has also shown that spending time outdoors can help prevent nearsightedness in children. Sounds like more than enough good reasons to get out and enjoy the sunshine….as long as it’s done safely.

Especially as people spend more and more time outdoors enjoying the summer sun, we like to focus our efforts on educating our patients on UV safety this time of year.

What is UV?

UV stands for ultraviolet. It’s a form of radiation that is found in everyday life. It can be in the form of natural light (rays of sunshine) or artificial indoor light.

How does UV light harm your eyes?

Prolonged or over-exposure of UV light can raise your risk of developing eye problems and diseases. UV light can irritate and damage the cornea, lens, and surface tissues of the eye.

Common eye conditions that can be caused by damage from UV light exposure include:

  • Cataracts
  • Eye and eyelid cancer
  • Eye growths (pterygium)
  • Eye “sunburn” (photokeratitis)

How to protect your eyes from the sun

Almost everyone knows it’s important to protect our skin from UV light. We do this by applying sunblock or keeping our skin covered in the sun.

But what about our eyes? Some important things to remember…

  • Your sunglasses are just an important as your sunblock
  • Choose sunglasses with 100% UV or UV400 protection
  • Don’t be fooled—UV rays are still beaming down even on cloudy days
  • Everyone is at risk—start UV safety habits young and dress your children with hats and sunglasses outdoors