40trSummer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the risks from sun exposure have lessened.  In fact, as best sun protection habits start to become a little more lax, it’s more important than ever for individuals and families to protect their ocular health from harmful UV radiation.

Multiple studies have shown that too much exposure to UV light – the kind naturally emitted from the sun – can lead to a drastic increase in eye diseases, including cataracts, cancer, and growth aberrations on the lens of the eye.  While some of these eye diseases may not manifest until our later years, it’s worth taking extra precautions to keep your vision safe and sound from harsh UV radiation:

  • Wear sunglasses all year-round: UV radiation doesn’t just dissipate during the winter months. One of the best ways to keep your eyes protected is to wear UV-blocking sunglasses, as well as a broad-brimmed hat whenever you’re out in direct sunlight.  Look for a sticker on your sunglasses that say they’re 100% UV/UA blocking.
  • Don’t go sun-gazing: Looking directly into the sun is a surefire way to cause serious damage to your eyes. This condition is known as solar retinopathy, where the retina of the eye is damaged by solar radiation.  It can be a seriously debilitating eye condition, so make sure it doesn’t happen to you!
  • Be smart about eye health: UV damage can happen at any time, whether you’re out on the beach or sitting next to a window on a cloudy day. To keep your eyes protected, know that your chances of damage are still there even if you’re outside on a cloudy day.  Wear sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen – and make sure your family is protected, too!

If you’re concerned about your eye safety in the sun or have experienced any of the above issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.  Dr. Griffiths can provide you with safety tips to keep your vision healthy and strong for the rest of your life, no matter what the season!

NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC areas.