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How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays

Growing up, were you told looking directly into the sun would make you
go blind? That’s somewhat of an extreme outcome, but it is true
the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes.

The sun emits both UVA and UVB rays, both of which are commonly associated
with skin conditions, melanoma and even immunity suppression. These UV
rays can also increase your chances of developing
eye conditions such as
cataracts,
macular degeneration, corneal burns and even cancer of the eye.

As Texas weather starts to warm up, more people are spending time outdoors.
But before you step outside to enjoy the sun, it’s important to
understand the dangerous effects its rays can have on your eyes and know
how to properly protect yourself to prevent damage that could lead to
permanent vision loss.

Follow these tips from the doctors at
Key-Whitman to keep your eyes safe form harm:

  • Wear sunglasses designed to block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.
    Wraparound sunglasses are ideal, as they also block rays from entering
    from the side. UV protection has nothing to do with how dark the tint
    of your sunglasses is. If you need prescription sunglasses, the
    Key-Whitman Optical Center offers a variety of designer sunglasses to choose from.
  • 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.
  • In addition to sunglasses, you should wear a broad-rimmed hat for added
    protection.
  • Protect your eyes in all seasons. The sun emits dangerous UV rays year-round.
  • Pay attention to peak sun times. The sun’s UV rays are strongest
    between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. It is best to avoid being outdoors
    during these hours. If you must be outside during peak sun hours, always
    wear proper protection.
  • Wear goggles when skiing as well as when tanning in a tanning bed. UV rays
    are strongest at higher altitudes, and tanning beds emit damaging UV rays.

Though the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to your eyes, don’t
avoid spending time outside for fear of damage by the sun. There is plenty
of research suggesting the sun is a valuable source of vitamin D, an essential
nutrient for a healthy body, including the eyes. Daily exposure to natural
light also helps the body regulate sleep/wake cycles.

Get outside and soak up some sun—just be sure to grab your sunglasses
on the way out the door!

Posted in: Eye Glasses, Eye Health

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