Protecting your eyes from the sun

June 15, 2009 3:26:45 PM PDT
Protecting your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun is important to do all year long, but especially in the summer when ultraviolet rays are stronger.Many people were sunglasses, but some offer more protection than others. And there are certain musts to look for when buying shades. Look for ones that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB light, or glasses labeled UV400. Both types of protection will keep out all the UV A and B rays that can lead to macular degeneration, melanoma cancers inside the eye and skin cancers around it.

Sunglass wearer Tom Von Beuzekom knows what to look for.

He had corrective eye surgery so he could see without glasses. He recently bought a pair of non-prescription sunglasses.

"On the inside of the frame itself it says UV protection, 100 percent UV protection," Tom said.

Tom's sunglasses are also wraparounds to prevent sunlight light entry, because his corneas can get scarred because of his recent eye surgery.

And just as you would read the labels on medication, you should read the labels on your sunglasses.

Shades that say "polarized" block glare, but the label should also say it blocks UV light too. And glasses should be bought at a reputable store. Glasses bought at sidewalk sales may say they block UV light, but if they don't, it can make the problem worse.

"The darker the glass, the less light gets to your eye," said Dr. Christopher Starr, from New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. "And therefore, the pupil expands and more light gets into the eye. And therefore, more UV light can get to the back of the eye, the retina, and cause the damage."

Dr. Starr warns that even on rainy days, the UV index can be very high, so it's not a bad idea to wear sunglasses on a regular basis outdoors and in the winter.

And sunglasses are also a must for kids, along with a hat with a brim to better shade the eyes.

Web produced by Maura Sweeney


SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP OR PHOTO  || REPORT TYPO ||  GET WIDGET

 EYEWITNESS TWITTER ||  FIND US ON FACEBOOK


Load Comments