You may know that your eye health is a very important part of life since your eyesight is a vital factor in everyday life. Did you know that summer time poses specific challenges that require your attention in regards to your eye health? We’re compiling a short series of posts that will address specific challenges we face when it comes to preserving your eye health during the summer months. In today’s post we’re going to visit why you need to take extra care to protect your eyes specifically during summer.
What’s So Bad About Summer?
While most people enjoy the longer days and warmer weather brought on by summer few are familiar with the fact that they put themselves at risk to harmful UV(ultraviolet) radiation. There are three primary forms of radiation given off by the sun, UVA, UVB and UVC. In a pervous post we explored the difference between UVA and UVB rays – you can visit that post here, while UVA and UVB rays pose a threat UVC rays do not enter our atmosphere and are not normally attributed to causing cancer. During the summer months (May-August in North America) the sun’s UV rays are at their peak. This leads to stronger and a prolonged period of UV radiation. Exposure to the sun’s intense radiation can cause irreversible damage to not only your skin but to your eyes as well.
Prevention and Protection
While it may be tempting to lay out at the pool or spend hours outdoors it’s important to remember that the strongest period of radiation is between 10 am and 4pm. If you can try scheduling your outdoor time in the morning or later in the afternoon. If it can’t be avoided and you find yourself exposed to the sun during the peak hours the best option is to keep yourself protected. Apply ample amounts of sunscreen to exposed skin, wear suitable eye protection, or keep your skin covered by wearing loose clothing. You can often find clothing specifically provides UV protection. For more about UV protecting clothing visit this link.
We know that there are supplements and food we can eat to help promote healthy eyes and we know practical ways to protect our eyes from the sun. Amongst all the information we’ve learned have you ever found yourself wonder what’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays? In today’s post we’re going to explore this question and leave you with some insightful information.
UVA – Long Term Effects
Dark spots, damaged skin, wrinkles? These are the long term effects caused by UVA rays – unfortunately UVA rays are present year round no matter the season or weather. Over your lifetime you are exposed to countless hours of UVA rays – penetrating deep into your skin it is responsible for common signs of aging.
UVB – On the Surface
If you’ve been sunburned you’ve felt the effect of UVB rays. Unlike UVA rays UVB rays increases in strength over the summer months and decreases during winter. While it’s only at its strongest for a few short months, you should beware the UVB rays. The effects can be seen on the surface of your skin by resulting in sunburn, however just under the surface it can cause cell damage.
Take Proper Precautions
We hope this post has been insightful to you and we wanted to leave you with a couple tips on how to take proper precautions against UVA and UVB rays. We recommend protecting your eyes all year long by wearing sunglasses. It’s important to make sure your sunglasses offer UVA (in addition to UVB) protection since exposure can cause long term damage to your eyes. During the summer months we recommend staying indoors or properly protected from the sun between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm since this is when UVB rays are the strongest and pose the greatest threat to your eyes.
We all understand the importance of protecting our skin from the sun: The sun’s UV rays can cause us to burn, and can ultimately cause skin cancer. Because of this, we all wear hats, slather on sunscreen, and try to avoid the sun during the peak hours of the day. But, we don’t often think about the damaging rays and how they are affecting our eyes. In today’s blog post, we’re going to discuss how to avoid sun damage to your eyes so that you can keep them healthy for many years.
1. Avoid Sun Damage to Eyes: Wear the Right Sunglasses and a Hat
Sunglasses don’t do much for you if they’re not the right kind. It’s easy to just pick up cheap sunglasses from a gas station or department store – but they need to have the right kind of protection in order to truly protect your eyes from sun damage. Look for sunglasses labeled with “UV400,” or ones that provide 100% UV protection. Just because your sunglasses are super dark doesn’t mean they block out damaging UV rays. In fact, it’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, because UV rays go through clouds. Wearing sunglasses helps protect your eyes, but wearing a hat adds an extra layer of protection. They shade your eyes from different angles that sunglasses don’t, meaning you’ll be more protected while outdoors.
2. Avoid Damaging UV Rays: Be Careful While Driving
Driving in the car without proper sunglasses can cause the most damage. Not all car windows block UV rays. The side windows are even less likely to provide protection. Many people get sunburned while driving – their eyes are also being damaged by the sun. Be sure to wear proper UV-blocking sunglasses when you drive and your eyes are exposed to the sun. This is the best way to avoid sun damage to eyes.
3. Check Your Susceptibility to UV Rays: Check Your Medication3.
Many medications make our eyes more susceptible to the sun’s rays. Certain antibiotics, birth control, and others, contain substances that make our eyes more vulnerable to damaging UV rays. Check the labels of your medication, and speak with a doctor to learn if your eyes could be in more danger. Take the proper steps to avoid being out in the sun, or make sure you have the right sunglasses and/or hat to protect your eyes from the sun.