June 27, 2016

As we enter the full heat of summer many families are starting to really enjoy the outdoors and take those ever important summer vacations.  But the type of sunglasses you choose to wear is far more important than just matching your outfit, it could help save your sight.  

Dr. Amanda Steele of MyEyeDr. goes In Depth with us on this National Sunglasses Day to offer some tips. 

Dr. Steele says many individuals do not realize just how harmful UV rays can be, and the serious health problems that can result from these prolonged and high levels of UV exposure.

Here are a few of the damaging effects of the sun on your eye health:

  • Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina.  The disease is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans age 65 or older. Studies have found that “blue light” from the sun, otherwise known as high-energy visible (HEV) radiation, can increase the long-term risk of macular degeneration and even accelerate existing cases.  
  • Cataracts cloud the eye’s natural lens and can lead to blindness, affecting more than 22 million Americans.  Exposure to UV rays is linked to the early formation of cataracts.  
  • Photokeratitis, also known as a sunburn of the eye, causes intense pain and several days of blurry vision.  People are more likely to get photokeratitis at one of their favorite vacations spots where the sun is the strongest, whether it be the lake, the beach or in the snow.
  • Pterygium is a pink, fleshy tissue that forms on the white of the eye. This cosmetic condition is primarily caused by frequent exposure to UV radiation and can lead to dry eye symptoms, including burning, itching and blurred vision if the growth continues to grow.  

In addition to wearing sunglasses, it's just as important to choose the right pair of sunglasses.  Stay away from bargain bin sunglasses, purchasing instead from a reputable provider.  She also says to find a high quality pair of shades that you love and wear.  Polarized lenses also reduce glare and eye strain in intense sunlight.  

For more information on choosing the right sunglasses visit the MyEyeDr. website.  


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