Most of us know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, but did you know that our eyes are also vulnerable to sun damage? Too much exposure to UV radiation can cause a range of eye problems, from temporary discomfort to long-term damage.
Ways to Prevent Eye Damage from the Sun
There are plenty of ways to prevent your eyes from sun damage, however, there are several methods that seem to work the best. Here are some tips to help prevent eye damage from the sun.
Wearing sunglasses is the simplest and most effective way to protect your eyes from the sun. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. It's also important to choose a pair that fits well and covers your eyes completely. Wraparound styles are particularly effective because they block rays that come in from the side. If you're an active person, find out which activities you can wear sports sunglasses here.
Wear a Hat
A wide-brimmed hat can also help protect your eyes from the sun. Look for a hat with a brim that's at least three inches wide to shade your face, scalp, ears, and neck. A baseball cap, while stylish, won't provide as much protection.
Stay in the Shade
Staying in the shade is another way to reduce your risk of sun damage to your eyes. If you're spending time outdoors, try to stay under a tree or umbrella, or find a shady spot to relax in. Keep in mind that UV rays can penetrate clouds and reflect off surfaces like water and snow, so you can still get sun damage even on a cloudy day.
Avoid Peak Sun Hours
The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so it's best to avoid spending prolonged periods outdoors during these hours. If you do go outside, wear sunglasses and a hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Wear Sport Glasses or Sports Goggles
If you're playing sports or doing other outdoor activities, it's important to wear proper eye protection. Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses can help protect your eyes from UV radiation, as well as from impact and other types of injury. Look for goggles that meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for sports eye protection.
Keep Your Eyes Moisturized
UV radiation can cause dryness and irritation in your eyes, so it's important to keep them moisturized. Use lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated and reduce discomfort.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams can help detect early signs of eye damage and other eye problems. If you notice changes in your vision, such as blurry or distorted vision, or if you experience eye pain or discomfort, see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Protecting your eyes from the sun is essential for maintaining healthy vision. By wearing sunglasses and a hat, staying in the shade, avoiding peak sun hours, using proper eye protection during outdoor activities, keeping your eyes moisturized, and getting regular eye exams, you can help prevent eye damage from the sun.
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