How to protect your eyes from UV exposure

Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? We’re shining a light on why shielding your eyes from strong sunlight is so important, and our expert eye doctors will also reveal their top tips on how to protect your eyes from UV.

The effects of prolonged UV exposure on your eyes

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We all love the sunshine, whether you’re hitting the beach or heading out for a hike, but the sun doesn’t always love us back the same! That’s why proper UV protection is essential for keeping your vision clear and healthy all year round.

Continuous exposure to UV rays can cause eye issues in the short and long term. Did you know there are 3 types of UV rays that can reach your eyes? UVA rays can reach the back of your eyes, so over the years may contribute to the development of eye conditions like cataracts, which is when your natural lens clouds over, and eye diseases that cause sight loss like macular degeneration.

UVB rays only reach the front surface of your eyes as they are most common at sea level but intense exposure over a short period of time can lead to temporary conditions like photokeratitis, which is like having sunburnt eyes.

UVC rays are prevalent at higher altitudes, making protection from UVC important for skiers, snowboarders, hiking, and other activities at higher elevations. 

Protect your eyes from UV

Your eyes are precious, after all, they let you see the world around you and enjoy every moment! Thankfully, there are several ways you can ensure your eyes remain healthy now and, in the future, while still being able to enjoy the sun. Here are some simple yet effective solutions for great UV protection:

  1. Sunglasses:

The most important thing you can do for your eyes is to wear sunglasses. Not only will you have 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays, but you’ll also be able to style it out as the ultimate fashion accessory!

Investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses from a certified eye doctor’s office, like ours in Quincy, Illinois means you’ll benefit from continuous eye protection, as well as durable frames that will last you for years to come.

Sunglasses are also useful at all times of the year, as the sky can still be bright in winter even if it’s slightly overcast and UV rays can penetrate through clouds, so you won’t just be wearing them for summer, making them an even more worthwhile purchase. Remember, 80% of UV exposure occurs before the age of 18 so you should also encourage your little ones to wear sunglasses!

If you want to take your UV protection even further, we advise going for wraparound sunglasses or oversized styles, as they provide coverage from virtually all angles, including the sensitive skin around your eyes.

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  • Wearing Hats:

While sunglasses provide vital protection, wearing a hat too can also help to shield your eyes from direct sunlight to help cover any small gaps that your shades might not completely cover. Choose a hat with a wide brim to ensure wider coverage.

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  • Regular Eye Exams:

One of the best ways to maintain healthy eyes and detect any sun-related eye issues early on is to make sure you keep up to date with your comprehensive eye examinations. Our optometrists use state-of-the-art equipment to assess your eye health and identify any potential problems or early signs of eye damage that UV exposure may have contributed to.

This is especially important, as some irreversible conditions like macular degeneration don’t usually show symptoms that you’ll notice until it has already progressed to an advanced stage Early detection means we can monitor you closely and get you the right treatment if necessary, minimizing the risk of long-term complications.

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To round it up..

Make the most of these summer days – just don’t forget to look after your eyes while you’re out there for your peace of mind!

Schedule your eye exam with one of our Quincy eye doctors – Dr. Austin Krohn or Dr. Kristie Chevalier, or if you experience red, painful eyes after being out in the sun, you can always book an urgent eyecare appointment. To check out our latest sunglasses collections, feel free to visit us – we’d be happy to help you and your family find the perfect pair within your budget!

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