When you hear UV Safety Month, what do you think of? Sunscreen likely springs to mind, along with concealing clothing, sun hats, and reduced time outside during peak UV periods. But what about your eyes? What impact do UV rays have on the organs responsible for one of your most important senses?
UV Rays and Eye Health
UV rays can have a profound impact on the health of your eyes, both now and into the future. Linked to serious vision disorders including macular degeneration and cataracts, excessive UV exposure can also cause the eyes to sunburn, producing symptoms including itchy and watery eyes, increased light sensitivity, and a gritty or dry feeling.
Eye sunburns increase your risks for serious vision disorders later in life and may even speed the progression of cataracts, the leading cause of vision loss in the Unites States.
Not all Sun Protection is the Same
Unless you plan on staying inside all of the time, the best way to protect your eyes from UV damage is with sunglasses. However, not all sunglasses are effective. Some, in fact, can make matters worse.
When you put sunglasses on, you darken your vision. This, in turn, causes your pupils to dilate, allowing more light to enter in. If your sunglasses do not have full UVA/UVB protection, what you are letting in is concentrated UV light – increasing your risks for developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Polarized sunglasses do nothing to stop this. Polarization reduces glare, not UV exposure. Your sunglasses must have full UV protection in addition to polarization to truly protect your eyes. Avoid the trap of thinking inexpensive polarized sunglasses are “good enough.” They may be doing far more harm than good.
We offer full UV protection sunglasses in a range of styles at our Poughkeepsie and Yorktown locations. We would be happy to help you select just the right pair during your next routine visit, or feel free to simply stop by and browse our selection any time you see fit. The health of your eyes may very well depend on it.
This UV Safety Month, think about protecting your visual health. Call Seeta Eye Centers at 845-454-1025 to schedule a consultation at one of our Hudson Valley locations.