Would you spend an entire afternoon at the beach without applying sunscreen even once? Probably not. But did you know that the sun is just as hard on your eyes as it is on your skin?
Long-term exposure to sunlight can increase your chances of developing cataracts or even cancer in your eyes. This July, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding the public of the importance of protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can protect your eyes while still enjoying spending time outdoors participating in your favorite activities. Here are five ways you can protect your eyes from the sun this summer:
- Wear sunglasses
Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. And try to find sunglasses that fully cover your eyes. Sunglasses are much more than a fashion statement. They should be your first line of defense!
- Add a hat
Sunglasses are important but sometimes they can still let a small amount of sunlight in, so you should add a hat for extra protection. And try to choose a hat that offers UV protection as well. A wide brimmed hat is going to work better than a baseball hat, but choose whichever suits your needs and style.
- Pick contacts that offer UV protection
If you wear contacts, did you know that you can switch to contacts that offer UV protection? This doesn’t mean you can ditch the sunglasses, but it is a great way to add a little extra protection.
- Seek the shade whenever possible
We know that this isn’t always possible but you should always try to seek out the shade, especially during the early afternoon when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Find a nice shady tree, building or any other covered area to cool down under for a bit. Your eyes (and skin) will thank you!
- Teach your children to protect their eyes
Did you know that you received roughly 80 percent of your sun exposure before the age of 18? While being outside is great for childhood development, prolonged UVA exposure could set them up for issues in the future. Take care to protect your child’s developing eyes by teaching them to follow all of these rules.
Understanding the way the sun can affect your eye health is very important. If you have any questions on how to best protect your eyes during the summer months, be sure to schedule an appointment with us. We know that summer is a busy time for many families but don’t forget to schedule your yearly eye exams. Regular eye exams are the best way to protect your eyes and catch problems early on. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam!