Summer Sun Eye Safety

Awareness of sun safety is important. Studies show that exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. Sunlight reflected off sand, water and glass can cause photokeratitis, the condition responsible for snow blindness. So if you like to spend your summer on the beach or by the pool, this is important! UV radiation…can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens,” said Michael Kutryb, MD, ophthalmologist and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers UV light can pose. By wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, you can enjoy the summer safely while lowering your risk for potentially blinding eye diseases and tumors.” It is important to start wearing proper eye protection at an early age to protect your eyes from years of ultraviolet exposure.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following:

  • Wear sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection”: Use only glasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays and that are labeled either UV400 or 100% UV protection. If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.
  • Wear a hat: Along with your sunglasses; broad-brimmed hats are best.
  • Remember the kids: It’s best to keep children out of direct sunlight during the middle of the day. Make sure they wear sunglasses and hats whenever they are in the sun.
  • Know that clouds don’t block UV light: The sun’s rays can easily pass through clouds. Sun damage to the eyes can occur any time of year, not just in summer.
  • Be extra careful in UV-intense conditions: Sunlight is strongest midday to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, sand and glass.
  • Summer is an amazing time for kids but keeping your family safe is always a priority. Make sure that sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are always part of your daily routine!