While most residents of Mesa and Glendale enjoy getting out in the sun, there can be some impact on eye health if not careful. Just as we protect our skin from the sun with hats and sunscreen, protecting our eyes is equally important. July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and the experts at Schwartz Laser Eye Center share important information on how UV rays can lead to the development of cataracts over time, and how to protect your vision.
UV Light and Your Eyes
Without adequate protection, exposure to UV light can cause cataracts, which is when the natural clear lens of the eye becomes clouded and compromises your vision. UV rays that pass through the eye cause the proteins in the lens to clump together, which prevents light from effectively passing through and leads to loss of vision. Signs you may have cataracts include:
- Dull vision
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Trouble seeing clearly at night or in low-light environments
Prolonged exposure to UV rays can significantly increase the risk of cataracts. This is why it is extremely important to protect your eyes from UV exposure at all times.
Protecting Your Eyes
Limiting your exposure to UV light should be a priority if you want to protect your vision and avoid cataracts. Consider the following tips:
Avoid being outdoors in harsh sunlight: Generally, it is best to avoid being outdoors for long stretches between 10 am and 4 pm, which is when sunlight is the strongest. Wearing protective eyewear when you are outside can help prevent damage to your eyes.
Wear UV-blocking sunglasses: Sunglasses are great for protecting the eyes, but you need to ensure you select eyewear that provides essential UV protection.
Wear a hat: To double up on UV protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat in addition to UV-blocking sunglasses. Since light can still reach your eyes from the sides and top of your sunglasses, it’s a good idea to wear a hat, which can offer additional coverage and allow you to be protected from all angles while enjoying the outdoors.
Avoid looking at the sun: Most people have heard this advice, but it is paramount that you do not stare directly at the sun. This advice applies even during an eclipse.
UV Safety at Schwartz Laser Eye Center
If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, it’s time to visit an eye doctor, such as the dedicated experts at Schwartz Laser Eye Center. Here, our very skilled doctors can determine your candidacy for cataract surgery or other eye treatment that improves your quality of life. To make an appointment, contact us online or call us today.