It’s a fact. Fun in the sun can lead to damage to your vision, if you don’t take the proper care of your eyes and vision. Too much sun can cause eye damage, including macular degeneration, cataracts, photokeratitis, and more. So, what can you do?
First, it helps to know that the risk isn’t limited to bright spring and summer days; your vision is also at risk when harmful UV rays are reflected off water and snow during the fall and winter months. That means that you need to protect yourself year round. Whatever your preferred outdoor activity, you need to take a few simple steps to prevent lasting, preventable damage to your vision.
Here are three things everyone must do to prevent eye damage:
- Seek shade. This really does make a difference! Just as you would avoid a sunburn to your skin, you can avoid damaging your eyes. Wearing a hat, shielding your eyes with your hands, and avoiding direct sun during the brightest times of day will help protect you from harm. (It’s not the best, but it’s better than no protection.)
- Wear sunglasses and/or contacts. You want to find sunglasses that block the full spectrum of UV rays, including UVA, UVB, and UVC. (UVB rays are those that are thought to cause the most damage, but you want to completely limit your risk.) If you need prescription lenses, you can get your sunglasses or contacts made to limit UV spectrum rays.
- Develop good habits early. Know that sun damage is cumulative. Repeatedly spending time outside without proper eye protection is just what leads to the cloudy vision due to cataracts and other damage that adds up.
Have questions about your vision, how to prevent eye damage, or need to talk through an issue? Please reach out to us at Utah Eye Centers! We can ‘shine a light’ on your options. We look forward to meeting with you!