Summer is definitely here. The ocean front is packed. High temperatures are routinely in the 90's. Vacations are being planned. But this is also an important time to talk about the risks of ultraviolet (UV) light.
Certainly, we are all aware of the importance of putting on sunblock to reduce the risks of skin cancer caused by UV light. But, did you know your eyes are susceptible to damage from UV as well?
Studies have shown UV light to be associated with increased cataracts and macular degeneration. Also, UV light can cause changes to the appearance of the front surface of the eye (check out our previous blog post on 'yellow spots' ). And similar to the rest of your skin, UV light can cause cancerous formations around the surface of the eye.
How can you protect your eyes against UV light? The best way is sunglasses, but the key is they have to be "UV-filtering" sunglasses. The typical drugstore-type sunglasses may not have the ability to block UV light. Or, they may not block significant amounts of UV-A, UV-B, or both.
However, prescription sunglasses have to meet higher standards. In fact, prescription UV-blocking lenses block up to 99% of UV light and provide the best means to protect your eyes against the harmful effects of the sun. (Be sure to check out our previous blog post on polarized sunglasses)
So, before you hit the beach this summer, make sure to pack your sunblock and your UV-blocking sunglasses. Your skin and your eyes will thank you later!