Protecting Your Eyes from UV Rays

With the sun at its most overhead, direct point, July naturally is UV Safety Month. UV stands for ultraviolet radiation which, while supporting life can also pose a danger for human skin and eyes. We want everyone at Concorde to be safe this summer, including protecting their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. We’ll point out ways people can protect their eyes during these summer months as a health care awareness service.

Health care awareness on different types of UV radiation

There are three types of UV radiation. UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not pose any threat. UV-A and UV-B radiation have long- and short-term negative effects on vision, according to the American Optometric Association.

If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you will likely experience photokeratitis, a sunburn of the eye that can be painful. The longer the eyes are exposed, the greater the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

5 ways to protect your eyes from UV rays

Albemarle Eye Center with Precision Eye Care published a blog outlining five common-sense practices to protect your eyes.

  1. Check your UV protection. Not all sunglasses are created equally. Some lenses favor fashion over protection. Be sure to check the label before buying to ensure sunglasses provide UV protection.
  2. Protect the skin around your eyes. Make sure your sunglasses cover a wide area of your face. That not only protects the skin around the eyes, but also protects your peripheral vision from any sunlight that might leak in around the sides.
  3. Wear a hat. Wearing a hat with a brim of at least three inches can block UV-B rays from reaching your eyes.
  4. Protect yourself all the time. Just because you’ll only be outside for a few minutes, it isn’t an excuse to forgo proper protection. Even five minutes in the sun can cause damage, especially if you’re constantly transitioning from shade to sun.
  5. Wear sunglasses over your contacts. Some contact lenses offer UV protection, but the level of protection they provide won’t suffice for long and only cover part of the eye.

There are plenty of tips and tools for protecting your skin, but we often take for granted that our eyes require the same attention. We hope all of our Concorde students, faculty and associates gained some benefit from this health care awareness service and will take the proper steps to having a healthy and happy summer. Following these simple steps will go a long way toward making this happen.

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