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Protecting Your Eyes From the Sun

May 1, 2021

Did you know that sun damage is one of the most dangerous things for your eyes? Even if you don’t feel uncomfortable on bright days, those UV rays can—and will—take their toll. Over time, UV rays can cause a whole slew of eye problems, ranging from corneal sunburn to cataracts to even cancer. A Koreatown, CA optometrist offers some suggestions on protecting your peepers below.


Indirect Ways

You’ve probably heard that staring into the sun isn’t good for your eyes. However, sunshine also reaches your eyes indirectly, through reflection. Snow, for example, can reflect up to 80% of the UV radiation. (Hence the term ‘snowblindness.’) Sand reflects about 15 percent, while seafoam reflects around 25. Water also reflects sunlight.


Sunglasses

If you wear glasses or contacts, consider getting some that will also protect your eyes from UV rays. Frame style is also important. Look for styles that protect your eyes from the sides as well as the front. Ask your eye doctor for specific advice.


Time It Right

You may have heard that the sun’s rays are strongest around midday. This isn’t entirely correct. It’s often hottest around midday, but midmorning and midafternoon are more dangerous for UV protection. 


Eye Wear

Quality matters a lot here. Really good sunglasses will offer far better UV protection than cheap knockoffs. If you’re looking for the hottest styles, you can’t go wrong with oversized shades. Cat-eye sunglasses are also trendy right now, as are colored lenses, aviators, vintage glasses, slim frames, and geometric shapes. Ask your optometrist for recommendations. 


Headgear

It’s also not a bad idea to wear hats. These won’t entirely block out UV rays, as they won’t protect you from reflected UV. However, they will shade your eyes. Hats also help protect your skin!


Start Young

A 2009 study by the World Health Organization found that most people have absorbed 80 percent of the UV exposure they will get throughout their entire lives before they reach 18. This makes sense: after all, most of us spend a lot more time running and playing outdoors as kids than we do as adults. Children also have bigger pupils. Get your young ones into the habit of wearing sunglasses and hats now, while they’re young!


Do you need new glasses, sunglasses, or contacts? As your Koreatown, CA eye center, we are always here to help. Contact us anytime! 

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