Summer Eye Safety

  • by John Guthrie
  • June 21, 2023
  • Categories: Blog, Mom Mental Health and Wellbeing, Podcast, Press Release, Uncategorized, Video

Nishita Patel, MD

Halifax Health – Ophthalmology

Summertime means more time spent outdoors – whether it be at the beach, the ballpark or just playing in the backyard. We all use sunscreen to protect our skin, but don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. Studies show that extended sun exposure creates the possibility for many negative health effects in the eye, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and growths on the eye, including cancer. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light reflected off sand, snow or water can damage the cornea, the eye’s surface.

The good news is that you can easily protect yourself. In order to be eye smart in the sun, ophthalmologists recommend the following:

1) Wear sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays and that are labeled either “UV400” or “100% UV protection”.

2) Consider buying wraparound-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.

3) Polarized lenses reduce the glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement. This does not offer more protection from the sun but can make activities like driving or being on the water safer or more enjoyable.

4) Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to work well. Less expensive pairs marked “100 percent UV-blocking” can be just as effective as pricier options.

5) Wear a hat along with your sunglasses; broad-brimmed hats are best.

6) Clouds don’t block UV light: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds. Sun damage to the eyes can occur any time of year, not just in summer, so you should wear sunglasses year-round.

7) Don’t drive without UV eye protection. A recent study found that side windows blocked only 71% of UV rays, compared to 96% in the windshield.

Living in Florida, we can’t stress the importance of protection from those harmful rays! By embracing these simple tips and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, you and your family can enjoy the summer safely while protecting your vision.