Summer’s bright sun and warm weather makes it an ideal time to spend most of your day outdoors. You may be looking forward to having picnics in the park or playing with your kids, especially since school will resume in about a month’s time. This season, however, may also mean stronger solar radiation. Since we celebrated UV Safety Month last July, your reliable laser eye surgery center, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, shares four tips for protecting your eyes from harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays.
1. Always Check the UV Index Before Going Outside
The UV Index is an international scale which measures the strength of solar radiation in a given area at a specific time. It was established by the World Health Organization and is updated daily by the Environmental Protection Agency to serve as everyone’s guide. Peak times are usually during the midday to early afternoon hours.
2. Have Your Eyes Checked by Your Trusted Optometrist
A comprehensive eye exam is an essential component of an effective preventive eye care plan, no matter the season. It provides us an opportunity to check for early signs of UV-related vision problems or other ocular changes. This way, we can also provide immediate treatment, preventing these conditions from progressing and keeping your eyes in good shape.
3. Understand How UV May Affect Your Eyes
UV radiation is more powerful during this time of the year, so staying longer hours in the sun may increase your risk of developing various eye conditions. In fact, studies show that UVA rays are major risk factors for retinal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration. UVB rays, on the other hand, may lead to corneal sunburn and conjunctival inflammation.
4. Take Extra Precaution in UV-Intense Circumstances
It’s always a good idea to wear sunglasses whenever you’re heading outdoors. Make sure to choose a pair that offers 100% UV protection, absorbing approximately 400 nanometers of both UVA and UVB rays. You may also want to consider pairs with oversized lenses and wraparound frames as they offer added protection. Your trusted eye doctor advises staying away from areas with higher altitudes or water as well since they emit greater UV reflections. We suggest applying sunscreen lotions and wearing hats too, especially wide-brimmed ones.
For more tips on preventing UV-induced eye problems, call us at (301) 859-4060, or complete our form. We serve Washington, DC, as well as areas near Rockville, MD, and Alexandria, VA.