More than Looking Cool

Summer is right around the corner and that means fun in the sun!  You know you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin, but do you know that you also need to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun?

Just as your skin can get sunburn so can your eyes.  If your eyes seem bloodshot, swollen, and light-sensitive after being outdoors you may have photokeratitis, which is sunburn of the eye.  However, this isn’t the only condition that can result from long-term or excessive UV exposure:

  • Surfers, skiers, fishermen, farmers, or anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors can experience growths on the eye known as pingueculas. These yellowish growths on the white part of the eye are usually benign but can be itchy and irritating.
  • Unprotected sun exposer can also speed up or worsen eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and cancer.
  • Look younger by wearing sunglasses. UV light and squinting in the sun can lead to the dreaded wrinkles known as crow’s feet!
  • Don’t forget about the kids. Much of our damage from sun exposure to the eye occurs before the age of 18.

The best way to protect your eyes is to wear UV-blocking sunglasses not only in the summertime, but year-round. UV light can penetrate clouds so wear sunglasses even on overcast days.  Make sure your lenses have “Backside UV Protection” also.  Much of the damage from UV rays that enter the eye does not come from straight ahead, but reflections from the side and back of the lenses.  Ask our expert opticians about our lenses that are the equivalent of SPF 25 for the eyes.

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