Summer is in full swing and it is usually the time when we enjoy outdoor activities. However, staying in the sun for long periods is harmful to your health. Remember that it emits ultraviolet rays that can damage not just your skin but also your eyes. Long-term exposure to excessive sunlight can put you at risk of contracting cataracts and other eye diseases.
In observance of UV Safety Awareness Month this July, your eye doctor from Nova Vision Center shares tips on protecting your eyes this summer and beyond.
Be Aware of the Harmful Effects of UV Rays on Your Vision
Ultraviolet rays fall under three categories. UVA has the longest rays and lowest energy frequencies, allowing it to pass through your cornea. Studies have also associated it with retinal changes that cause macular degeneration. UVB, which is the reason behind your summer tan, can cause eye and skin issues in high doses. UVC has the highest potential to cause harm because of its short wavelengths and highest energies, but most of it is absorbed by the ozone layer.
Wear the Right Eyewear Whenever You’re Outside
You may think that solar radiation is something to watch out for during bright, sunny days. However, UV rays can still penetrate through clouds on an overcast day. Summer or otherwise, you must wear sunglasses whenever you spend time outdoors. Talk to an optometrist who can help you find the right eyewear for your needs. Some have lenses that can protect you from various levels of UVA and UVB radiation. Others like polarized lenses help reduce glare and can be equipped with UV protection as well.
Protect Your Eyes While in Certain Areas
Even when you blink or don’t stare directly into the sun, the threat of UV rays harming your eyes is still high, especially in outdoor environments. When you’re near or on a body of water like a dock, boat, pool, or beach, the sun can reflect off of water, causing UV exposure. The same can happen while you are in the city where sunlight bounces off buildings, cars, and concrete streets. Aside from sunglasses, bring extra protection like a brimmed hat or sports visor to shield your eyes from the sun.
Nova Vision Center offers comprehensive eye care services, from eye exams to prescription contact lenses and eyeglasses. To learn more tips on protecting your eyes from UV rays, give us a call at (703) 578-3600 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve residents of Arlington and Alexandria, VA.