Just like our skin, our eyes are susceptible to damage from the sun. Exposure to intense sunlight for even a short period of time can essentially cause your eyes to develop a “sun burn”. Both short and long term exposure to UV rays could create vision problems and eye damage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation. In light of this, we’ve compiled some simple tips to keep you and your family’s eyes protected.
1. Always wear protective eyewear
Clear skies or cloudy days, the sun’s ultra violet rays still reach the earth’s surface. Bright reflected sunlight from sidewalks, sand, snow and other surfaces can cause UV damage just as easily as direct sunlight. Keeping your sunglasses with you for all sunny and semi-sunny occasions will keep you covered!
2. Look for quality sunglasses
Look for lenses that blocks 100% of both UVA and UVB rays (label could also say blocks 100% of harmful UV rays or UV 400 protection). Polarized polycarbonate lenses in particular are usually your best bet for full coverage. Keep in mind that price doesn’t always equate to quality. You can find many stylish yet protective sunglasses at reasonable prices.
3. Examine your sunglasses
Before you make a commitment to a pair of eyewear, ensure there is no damage to the lenses. Also, double check that the label clearly states 100% UV protection. Another thing to consider is that bigger frames mean bigger coverage. Look for wide temples so sunlight doesn’t seep in through the sides of the sunglasses. Go for those Hollywood shades!
4. Protect future generations
Detrimental forms of UV-related eye diseases typically stem from accumulated damage, which reinforces the importance of starting good eye protection habits at an early age. Educate your kids about the importance of protecting their eyes. When sending them outside, make sure they wear a pair of broad-spectrum UV sunglasses with 100% protection from harmful UV rays. The younger they develop healthy sun protection habits, the less resistance you’ll get as a parent/guardian. For young children, look for a pair of sunglasses that wrap closely around little heads to minimize unfiltered light and have straps to prevent them from falling off.
Be SunAWARE and be Safe!
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