Protecting your Eyes in Summer

Eye protection is always a popular topic during the summer months as we think of the beach and the pool. Sun and water usually go hand in hand during the summer months.

This article is written in parallel to a recent educational video published by Dr. Dana Cianni, one of our staff physicians at The Eye Professionals.

How to best protect your eyes during the summertime? This article reviews the qualities of the best sunglasses to protect your eyes from the summer sun…and other times.

Sunglasses are Best if…

Protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light. These potentially harmful rays are found in sunlight. Find lenses which block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB light to protect your eyes.

UVB is a shorter wavelength compared to UVA and does not penetrate the eye as well as its counterpart. UVB can cause damage to the cornea, the conjunctiva and the natural lens.

Sustained exposure to UVB may lead to or accelerate cataract formation. The cornea and conjunctiva can have benign or malignant growths which may result from over exposure to ultraviolet B light.

UVA Affects the Retina

Ultraviolet A light rays are of longer wavelength and may reach deeper structures of the eye such as the retina and can cause damage such as macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a progressive disease of which we know very little about how it develops and may lead to loss of central vision or legal blindness.

Reflected Sunlight has UVA and UVB

Don’t think of eye protection only during the summer months when you are at the pool or beach.

You are exposed to more sunlight when boating…or skiing. Sunlight bounces or reflects off the surface of the water and snow and you can actually be exposing yourself to more harmful UVA and UVB due to reflection.

Keep your eyes and protected whenever you are outdoors and exposed to sunlight, directly or indirectly.