For most of the US, July is one of the sunniest months of the year! It’s the height of summer, a time when many of us like to get outside and enjoy activities in the sunshine. While it can feel great to get out and enjoy the sunshine, the sun is the most likely source of UV light exposure, which can seriously damage your eyes and compromise your vision.
To increase awareness about the damaging effects of UV light on the eyes, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has designed July as UV Safety Month. Awareness is key to preventing exposure from UV light from leading to vision-threatening eye conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancers of the eye.
Keep reading to learn more about how to protect your eyes this UV Safety Month, including some of the best ways to limit your eyes’ exposure to harmful UV light!
Your sunglasses should block 100% of both UVA and UVB light. If you are investing in new sunglasses, look for ones that are labeled as providing UV400 protection or ones that block 100% of UV light.
For even more protection, choose sunglasses that wrap around your eyes or ones that have large lenses to provide additional coverage.
Choose the Right Hat
The best hat you can wear while outdoors is a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, especially your eyes, from direct sunlight. The wide brim on hat will help reduce the amount of UV light that can reach your eyes.
When outdoors, especially during the peak sunlight hours of ten AM to four PM, try to find shade under trees, umbrellas, or other protective structures. Staying in the shade can significantly reduce your eyes’ exposure to harmful UV light.
Opt for UV-Protective Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, consider opting for a lens with built-in UV protection. These special lenses can offer an additional layer of protection for your eyes.
When wearing contact lenses, it is essential to remember that a lens does not cover the entire surface of the eye, so you should still wear UV light-blocking sunglasses when outdoors.
Be Mindful of Reflected Light
When enjoying outdoor activities, be mindful of the potential for inadvertent UV light exposure from surfaces such as water, sand, snow, and concrete. You can protect yourself from reflected UV light by always wearing sunglasses and using other protective measures when you are in these environments.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
An eye exam with your eye care provider is the best way to detect and address any eye conditions or damage caused by exposure to UV light. They are also the best source for guidance on how to effectively protect your eyes from UV light.
While summer offers endless opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities, over-exposure to UV light from the sun can seriously damage your eyes. You can protect the health of your eyes by being aware of the dangers of UV light and taking simple precautions when heading outdoors!
Protect your eyes this summer with a comprehensive eye exam at Shepherd Eye Center! Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!