Summer is finally here! But remember that while you’re outside enjoying the glorious sunshine, it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun can increase your chances of developing eye conditions such as cataracts, corneal burns, and skin cancer on and around the eyelids.
However, there are ways to enjoy spending time outside and still protect your eyes:
One of the main things you can do to prevent damage from UV rays is to wear sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun. It is important to make sure that your sunglasses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Oversized or wraparound sunglasses provide the best coverage. If you cycle, then cycling sunglasses will protect your eyes from the glare of the sun as well as from any flying dirt or debris.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat
A hat with at least a three-inch brim and no holes can block as much as half of all UV rays from your eyes and eyelids. It is especially useful if you’re spending time outside where there is no shade.
Excess exposure to the sun is one of the main risk factors for developing skin cancer, so you should always wear sunscreen. Choose one with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, to protect your eyes when you take off your sunglasses and be sure to re-apply it every couple of hours.
Avoid the sun at the strongest times of the day
Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m if possible, because the sun is at its most intense during this time. If you are outside during peak times, try to find shade. Even if there are clouds, the sun’s rays can pass through them, so eye protection is important even when it’s hazy or cloudy.
It is a common misconception that damage from the sun only occurs during the summer. However, the sun’s UV rays can cause damage regardless of the season. Make sure you safeguard your eyes by implementing sun protection into your daily routine and stick to it all year round.