Long-term exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase the risk of eye disease, including cataracts, macular degeneration, growths on the eye, and a rare form of eye cancer. Even short-term exposure can damage the eyes. Sun reflecting off water can cause a painful sunburn on the front part of the eye, called photokeratitis. It causes redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, and in rare cases, even temporary vision loss.
The good news is that prevention is simple: Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. When purchasing sunglasses, we urge everyone to choose substance over style, and consider these 6 shopping tips:
If you doubt your sunglasses have the UV protection claimed by a retail tag or if they are simply old and you want to make sure, bring them in to our office and we can verify whether or not they have UV protection.
“It’s important to protect your eyes year-round, not just during the summer,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Harmful UV rays are present even on cloudy days. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat also cuts down on exposure. And don’t forget babies and kids. They also need to wear hats and sunglasses.”