After a long winter in the north I know I am ready to see more sunlight. In fact the past few
weeks we have been lucky enough to spot a few rays! With more sun exposure are you ready to
protect your eyes?
Most people do not realize that the thin skin around your eyes and the
delicate tissues/structures of your eyes are very susceptible to damage from those beautiful
sun rays. These are the same light rays that damage our skin causing cancer and
The light rays are also damaging during the winter but are 1/3 of the degree
experienced during the summer months. When light rays are reflected off surfaces such as
water and snow it magnifies the effect. This is important in the fact that we should always
protect our precious eyes/vision with sun protection.
So what should we do?
The American Optometric Association recommends the following:
Wear the right kind of sunglasses when going outside – even when
it’s overcast. The sun’s rays can be just as damaging on a cloudy day. Many sunglasses
styles do not protect the eyes from the solar radiation entering from the sides or around
the sunglass frames. However, UV blocking contact lenses can provide an important
measure of additional protection. The level of protection can vary. Contact lenses that
help protect against transmission of harmful UV rays are classified into two categories:
Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 UV blockers provide the greatest measure of UV protection.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
All sunglasses don’t provide UV protection. The
color of the lenses has nothing to do with it – it’s a function of the lens material or a
treatment the lens has had. That’s why some clear lenses can protect you, while some
colored lenses can’t!
Wear Sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays
If you’re not sure, have your Eye Doctor measure the lenses for UV capability. It takes just a few seconds for
complete peace of mind.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
They need UV protection too! Have them wear proper sunglasses
and hats, too. It’s also smart to keep them out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00
p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
Get Checked Annually!
Early detection makes all the difference in recognizing,
preventing and treating eye diseases.
I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable spring and enjoy those sun rays safely!
Dr. Jennifer Lambart