Summer is the time to spend plenty of hours outside, enjoying good weather, exploring nature, and spending time at the pool or local parks. You protect your skin from sunburn by using sunscreen, but many people forget about the importance of protecting their eyes from sun damage.
Visible white light exposure is actually good for your eyes in the right amounts, but the UV rays that come can still cause vision damage and put you at risk for developing eye cancers and other chronic eye diseases. Here's what you need to know about protecting your eyes from the sun.
1. Choose sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection.
Tinted lenses do not make sunglasses effective on their own. Proper sunglasses have a protective layer that filters out UV light. Before buying your glasses, look at the tag and label to check that the glasses actually offer UV protection. Sometimes, marketed sunglasses from convenience or discount stores might not have this protection and are simply for looks with tinted lenses. Vintage sunglasses might also lack this protection.
2. Consider polarized lenses.
Not all sunglasses have polarized lenses. These lenses are most costly, but they can be worth it if you work outside, drive frequently, or spend a lot of time near water. The reflected glare from water and from other vehicles can be more concentrated light than simple exposure. The glare can make it hard for you to see properly, but it also weakens your eye because of the need to constantly squint. The glare has a more concentrated dose of UV light. Polarized lenses protect from glare, breaking it up so that you can still see and so that you don't experience eye damage from concentrated light.
3. Take time to rest and protect your eyes.
If you spend a lot of time in bright sunlight, you might choose to wear a hat to keep light from shining directly in your eyes. You can also rest your eyes by closing them for a few seconds. After you come indoors, rest your eyes further by cutting back on electronic exposure. Light from screens in blue light, which is higher energy than yellow or red light. The light can further fatigue your eyes after a day in the sun.
Just light your skin, your eyes need protection from the sun. For more information on choosing the right protective eyewear, contact a medical office like Battery Park Vision Associates.