Summer Eye TipsThose gorgeous summer days are finally here, and that means you’ll be spending more time outside enjoying the sun-soaked beaches, baseball fields, and amusement parks.  In fact, your summers weekends are already packed with barbeques, holiday parties, weddings, and so many outdoor events that you’ll hardly have time to throw on your sunglasses when you run out the door.

However, if you value your eye health, you’ll want to take the extra few seconds to put on your sunglasses.  As it turns out, the sunniest season of the year is also the one that poses significant risks for your eyes.

A recent barrage of studies have shown that people who do not protect their eyes when outside enjoying the summer sun are more likely to develop cataracts, growths on the eye (which may later develop into cancer), and age-related macular degeneration.  It’s not just the outdoors that poses these significant risks; tanning beds carry an even more heightened risk for these vision problems, as the UV rays from tanning beds are less filtered than those from natural sunlight.  UV radiation can cause damage to the surface of the eye, as well as the cornea and surrounding tissues.

So how can you keep your eyes safe when spending time in the great outdoors?  Simple – try using these techniques:

  • Whatever you do, avoid using tanning beds.  You should already know the significant damage that these life-threatening beds can do to your skin.  If you haven’t been convinced to stop yet, let the preservation of your eye health give you the motivation you need to stop.
  • Buy UV-blocking sunglasses that provide as much eye coverage as possible.  When buying these types of sunglasses, make sure you look for a label that says “100% UV protection” or “UV400.”  Bonus points if you can find sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays from your eyes. If you can, buy sunglasses that wrap around as much of your eyes as possible.  UV rays can hit your eyes from the side, so you want to find as much protection as possible.
  • Going to spend some time at the beach or out on the baseball field?  Be sure to wear a hat for even more protection from the sun.  Whether it’s a floppy straw hat or a baseball cap, a hat can help preserve your ocular health.

To learn more about keeping your eyes safe during the summertime, visit New View Eye Center in Reston, VA – also serving Washington, DC, Fairfax County, and all of Northern Virginia.