Sun Safety: How to protect your eyes this summer
No doubt, Oakville sun glasses can make a fashion statement, but they serve a much more important function – eye protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
UV rays are a major risk for sunburns, skin cancer, premature aging, and damage to your eyes. Too much exposure to UV rays increases the risk of eye diseases, periocular skin cancer, and vision loss. Many of these issues often start without any symptoms!
Harmful UV rays can also cause cataracts – a condition where the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy and opaque. This happens when UV rays are absorbed by the lens of the eye, which then cause free radicals to form inside of the lens. Free radicals may damage the lens and cause cataracts. Approximately 3.2 million Canadians are living with cataracts.
Harmful effects of UV rays
- Ultraviolet A rays (UV-A)
- Ultraviolet B rays (UV-B)
- Ultraviolet C rays (short-wave radiation)
UVA rays may harm your central vision by damaging the macula; a part of the retina at the back of your eye. UVB rays affect the front part of your eye (the cornea and the lens).
The good news is, protecting you and your family from the sun’s harmful rays is preventable with the proper eye care.
Keep an eye on proper sun protection
Sunglasses are a perfect accessory to help prevent damage to your eyes because they block a large percentage of UV rays. Sunglasses that offer high UV-A and UV-B protection are not only the best option for the eyes, but for areas around the eyes where sunscreen is often not applied.
You won’t be able to tell how much UV protection a pair of sunglasses will provide by just looking at their price, style, colour, or the darkness of the lenses. Sunglasses do not need to be expensive; they need to be effective. The wrong pair of sunglasses can do more harm than good. Sunglass lenses that offer the best eye care protection against UV rays will filter out 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation and screen out 75-90% of visible light.
Oakville Sun glasses
Our team at our vision care centre in Oakville will make sure your sunglass lenses match in colour and are free of imperfections and distortions. The colour of your sunglass lenses also matter. Grey-coloured lenses reduce light intensity and provide the most natural colour vision.
Sunglass lenses should be dark enough to maintain comfort, but not so dark that they reduce vision.
Contacts with UV blockers are available; however, they are not a substitute for an effective pair of sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye or the surrounding area. You still need to wear sunglasses with good quality UV protective lenses when you wear your contacts.
With summer vacation under a month away, more children will be spending time outdoors. While it’s great for them to be physically active, outdoor activity increases a child’s risk to exposure of UV rays.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the following eye care tips to help reduce UV radiation damage to your child’s eyes:
- Check the daily UV index and the different sources of UV radiation, including direct sunlight and reflections from snow, water, sand, and pavement.
- When outdoors, have your child wear sun protection, such as sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap.
- Teach your children to never look directly into or stare at the sun.
- Keep children out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Keep children younger than six months out of direct sunlight. Use a canopy or umbrella as a sun-shield when outdoors.
Just like adults, children need a pair of good sunglasses that protect both the skin around the eye as well as the eye itself.
Summer is a time for enjoyment. Don’t let the sun’s harmful UV rays ruin your plans. Visit our team at our vision care centre. They will help you and your family take the necessary precautions to protect your eyes.