June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. Regardless if you knew about this obscure day, the need to protect your eyes should be celebrated. Eyes are complicated organs that deserve protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Let’s look at ways the sun can damage our eyes as well as the best tips for protecting them.
People innately know not to stare at the sun, but they don’t always know how important it is to protect our eyes from its rays. Needless to say, our eyes are the key to vision. They are precious. Without proper protection according to Eye Site on Wellness, you can get corneal sunburn also called photokeratitis. Over time, you can develop eye cancer. Your eyes can also develop cataracts, which will eventually reduce/block vision, from too much sun. Therefore, it is important to protect your eys from sun damage.
There are countless brands and kinds of sunglasses on the market. Of course, the first step is to ensure that they offer good protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If they don’t, leave them in the rack at the store. Look for 100% protection. Don’t settle for less. The frames you choose are also important. You want the lenses to block the sun’s rays. So look for larger lenses or even the wrap-around kind for complete protection. The color or darkness of the lenses don’t necessarily matter. The stated protection is more important.
Sun Protection at the Lake
If you are around the lake, chances are you are around water. Surfaces like water reflect the sun’s rays. UVA and UVB rays can reflect up to 30% on water; therefore, the need to protect your eyes on the lake is even higher. This explains why just wearing a hat or cap does not protect your eyes from the sun. However, wearing a wide-brimmed hat or cap with sunglasses provides even more protection.
In summation, the damage caused by the sun’s rays to our eyes is significant. Knowing how to choose the proper sunglasses and wearing them is key. Wearing them in conjunction with a hat or cap amps up the protection from any direct or reflected ultra-violet rays. Make sure that you get good sunglasses for your children as well. “Researchers estimate we receive 80% of our lifetime exposure to UV rays before age 18,” states Eye Site on Wellness. This fact is due to the amount of sun exposure and lack of adequate sun protection children typically experience. Protecting your eyes and those of your family is a must.
Last week we covered sunscreen in our Sun Care Series. If you missed it, read “Sun Care: The Best Sunscreens for the Lake.” Sun care is key year-round, but especially in the summer.