Another Texas summer is just around the corner! As you’re planning your summer activities, take some time to freshen up your knowledge of proper sun protection.
When you hear someone mention sun protection, it’s likely in the context of protecting your skin—and for good reason. Skin cancer is among the most common forms of cancer, but it is also the most preventable.
While it’s absolutely essential that you protect your skin from the sun, it is also critical that you protect your eyes.
The sun emits powerful UVA and UVB rays that can increase your risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer of the eyelid. Just as the sun can burn your skin, it can also burn the cornea of your eye or cause irritation in the whites of your eye, resulting in inflammation and partially blocked vision.
Tips to protect your eyes from the sun
Follow these tips to protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays.
- Wear sunglasses that are designed to block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.(Wraparound sunglasses are ideal, as they will also block rays from entering from the side. UV protection has nothing to do with how dark the tint of your sunglasses is, so be sure to read the label.
- Wear a broad-rimmed hat to fully protect your eyes.
- Wear sunglasses, even on cloudy days. Though clouds may eliminate brightness from the sun, UV rays can still pass through the clouds and cause damage to your eyes.
- Pay attention to peak sun times. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between the hours of 10am and 2pm. It is best to avoid being outdoors during these hours. If you must be outside during peak sun hours, always wear proper eye protection.
- Don’t let the sun steal your fun this summer. Wear adequate eye and skin protection to prevent sun burns and eye damage that could lead to serious health and vision concerns including cancer, cataracts and macular degeneration.