July is UV Safety Month. You should practice UV safety all year, but it’s especially important during the summer.
Why? Because the primary source of UV radiation is sunlight. This is something that’s more abundant during the summer.
Being aware of the dangers of UV radiation and how to protect yourself is of the utmost importance. If you want to have healthy eyes, knowing how to protect them from UV rays is a must! Keep reading to learn more about UV Safety Month!
UV, or ultraviolet light, is a form of radiation. It’s primarily produced from the sun but can also come from manmade sources, like tanning beds.
Like many forms of radiation, too much exposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health problems, including cancer. UV radiation doesn’t only put you at higher risk for skin cancer, either.
It can also cause growths to develop on your eyes and put you at higher risk for cataracts and eye cancer. This is why it’s so important to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays!
UV light is composed of three different wavelengths: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are blocked from our atmosphere by the ozone layer.
But UVA and UVB rays still get through. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause damage to your skin that can lead to skin cancer.
UVA rays, however, are the most harmful to your eyes. It’s important to wear eye protection that blocks out UVA rays whenever you spend time outside.
Steps You Can Take This Summer
Wear Protective Sunglasses
The main thing you can and should do to protect your eyes from UV light is to wear sunglasses. Many people think they only need to wear sunglasses when it’s sunny, but that’s not true.
Even when it’s cloudy out, sunlight still can get through and so can UV radiation. Make it a habit to wear sunglasses whenever you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time.
The kind of sunglasses you wear matter as well. Cheaper pairs may not block out much radiation if any at all. You need to be sure to have a pair that says it blocks out 99% of UV light.
Usually, these sunglasses will have a sticker on them when you buy them. If it doesn’t have a sticker, you may want to buy a different pair that provides more protection.
But sunglasses are only one form of protection. If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, you may also want to consider wearing a hat.
Wear a Hat
This could be a baseball cap or another hat that has a wide brim that can shield your eyes with shade. Whenever possible, you should also stay in the shade if you’re outside.
If you know you’ll be outside when the sun burns at its brightest (around 10 am-2 pm) staying in the shade is a good idea.
Wear Sunscreen on Any Exposed Skin
Protecting your eyes is important, but don’t forget about sunscreen too! Wear sunscreen when you go outside over any exposed skin.
If you’re going swimming, be sure to reapply when you get out of the water. Your sunscreen may say it’s waterproof, but you’re better off reapplying just to be safe.
Even if you’re not swimming, you need to reapply sunscreen every few hours if you’re going to be out in the sun for a long time. Sunscreen doesn’t last for eight hours, especially if you’re sweating or being active throughout the day!
Follow these steps and be aware of the dangers of UV exposure. Set a good example for your children and make sure the whole family knows how to protect their skin and their eyes from the sun!
Want to keep your eyes in their best shape this summer? Request an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Henderson, NV with one of our expert ophthalmologists!