Now that the weather is warm, it’s time to be outside. Bike rides, hikes and trips to the park mean lots of outdoor fun during the summer months, but these activities can take their toll on your vision. Ophthalmologists caution that too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, growths on the eye and cancer.
Eye damage begins at a young age and it is cumulative, so you may not even notice problems in your vision until it is too late. Diseases like cataracts and cancer can take years to develop, so it is important to protect your eyes on a daily basis. It is also important to remember that UV rays are still present in the winter months and on cloudy days.
Here are some tips to protect your eyes from the sun all year long:
- Purchase UV-blocking sunglasses for the whole family, and wear them whenever you are outside. The design of sunglasses that will protect your eyes the most is the kind that has larger lenses and wrap around the eyes to provide protection on the side of the eyes as well as the front.
- Wear broad-brimmed hats whenever you’re outside.This will protect your eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes and prevent premature aging.
- Do not look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse.This can cause solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina from solar radiation.
- Wear sunscreen every day. Apply sunscreen to your face, neck and other exposed skin to prevent sun damage.
Getting a comprehensive eye exam each year will help prevent eye disease and promote good eye health. Preventing sun damage and scheduling routine eye check-ups are a winning combination for healthy vision. June is Cataract Awareness Month, so protect your eyes from the sun and schedule a comprehensive eye exam to keep your vision clear for years to come.