July is UV Safety Month!

Posted on July 10th, 2017 by clvc

Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular-degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis, that can cause temporary vision loss.

To protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation, sunglasses and a hat are recommended, in addition to minimizing sun exposure during the peak times of 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Sunglasses with a close-fitting wraparound style provide the best protection because they limit how much stray sunlight reaches your eyes from above and beyond the periphery of your sunglass lenses and help to protect the delicate skin around your eyes as well.

Risks from exposure change from day to day and depend on a number of factors, including:

-♦ Geographic location. UV levels are greater in tropical areas near the earth’s equator. The farther you are from the equator, the smaller your risk.

-♦ Altitude. UV levels are greater at higher altitudes.

-♦ Time of day. UV and HEV levels are greater when the sun is high in the sky, typically from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

-♦ Setting. UV and HEV levels are greater in wide-open spaces, especially when highly reflective surfaces are present, like snow and sand. In fact, UV exposure can nearly double when UV rays are reflected from the snow. UV exposure is less likely in urban settings, where tall buildings shade the streets.

-♦ Medications. Certain medications, such as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics and tranquilizers, can increase your body’s sensitivity to UV and HEV radiation.

Surprisingly, cloud cover doesn’t affect UV levels significantly. Your risk of UV exposure can be quite high even on hazy or overcast days. This is because UV is invisible radiation, not visible light, and can penetrate clouds.

Kids Need UV Protection Even More Than Adults

The risk of damage to our eyes and skin from solar UV radiation is cumulative, meaning the danger continues to grow as we spend time in the sun throughout our lifetime. Children are more susceptible to retinal damage and generally spend much more time outdoors than adults making it especially important for kids to protect their eyes from the sun.

Our Eyewear Gallery is open weekdays at 8:00 a.m., let our staff help you and your family select the eye protection best suited for you.