May 13, 2022
Summer will be here soon, and all that sunshine is excellent for Vitamin D levels but there are other cautions to be had while spending hours outdoors. As you enjoy the sunrays, it is essential to prioritize eye safety. Too much exposure to the harmful rays can result in short or long-term impact on your eyes. For this reason, protecting your eyes is imperative.
How Ultraviolet Rays Cause Eye Damage
UV light is a form of radiation. The main source of ultraviolet rays is the sun. However, other artificial sources such as tanning beds and lasers can also produce UV light. Overexposure to these rays can increase your risk of developing certain eye conditions. Some of them include age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. You also increase your chance of developing skin cancer on or around your eyelids.
You can also experience a corneal burn. This is the equivalent of getting skin sunburn but on your cornea. It often happens in places where the sun reflects off the water or at high altitudes. Besides these impacts, overexposure to UV rays can also hasten the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes.
Tips to Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays
Protecting your eyes from UV rays does not mean avoiding the outdoors altogether. There are many ways you can spend time under the sunlight without harming your eyes or vision. Here are a few tips:
One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your eyes from UV rays is wearing sunglasses. More importantly, opt for sunglasses that offer 100-percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. Oversized sunglasses are a big plus as they offer better protection from the harmful rays than smaller sized frames. They also protect the skin around your eye from cancer-causing UV rays.
Timing Is Key
Whenever possible, avoid the sun when it is at its strongest. Often, this occurs between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid overstaying under direct sunlight during these periods if you can. If you must, staying under a shade is advisable.
These types of hats provide extra protection from the sun’s rays. This is especially useful if you are planning to spend time at a place with no shade. A three-inch brim can provide enough protection, according to the Skin Cancer Association. So show off your summer style in a hat that offers protection and a fun flare.
Sunscreen Is Important
Overexposure to the sun is a leading risk factor for the development of skin cancer. It can occur anywhere on your body, including the skin around your eyes and eyelids. Cancers involving the eyelids account for five to ten percent of all skin cancers. For optimal protection, opt for a facial sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours for the best results.
Protect Yourself From Other UV Light Sources
Do not forget to protect yourself when using other ultraviolet light-emitting sources. Some may emit greater amounts of UV rays than the sun. So, when using welding lamps and tanning beds, ensure that you are wearing protective eyewear. They should have a high UV protection rating for optimal results.
Now that you know all the warnings and how to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, go outside, take a vacation, enjoy an evening BBQ and if you need us, we are here with more information on protecting your eyes!
Call East Main Vision Clinic at (253) 780-0700 to reach our office in Puyallup, Washington.