Ways to Protect Eyes From Sun Damage

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Exposure to UV radiation can hurt your eyes. The greater the exposure, the more risk you’ll have of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions. Damage develops over years. Even small exposures may have a cumulative negative effect. The sun produces three types of ultraviolet light. UVA and UVB rays are the types that can hurt your eyes and skin.

Who’s At Risk?

Anyone who spends time outdoors is at risk for UV damage. Those who regularly spend many hours outside either for work or for fun, are at a higher risk. People who use sunlamps, indoor tanning beds, weld, work in certain manufacturing or medical fields and those who take medications that increase sun sensitivity could experience damage from UV rays.

How You Can Protect Eyes from Sun Damage

1. Install Window Film

Did you know that sunlight can damage your eyes even when you’re indoors? Window film blocks up to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays. When you install window film on a sunny window, your home feels more comfortable, and your eyes are protected. While window film blocks harmful rays, you can still enjoy the natural light from your windows.

2. Wear Sunglasses

A good pair of sunglasses is essential to protect eyes from sun damage. The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses that block 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. You’ll need to keep your sunglasses nearby all year round. Even in cloud-covered Oregon, it’s important to wear eye protection when you’re outdoors for more than a few minutes. If you wear corrective lenses, you can either get prescription sunglasses or contacts with UV protection. If you work in a profession or play a sport that exposes you to solar radiation, always wear protective goggles.

3. Use a Wide-Brimmed Hat

Sunglasses aren’t always enough. If you’ll be outdoors for hours at a time, add a wide-brimmed hat to your ensemble. Many hats are made with UV protection and cool, moisture-wicking fabrics. If you’re heading out for a day on the coast, grab your hat and sunglasses. If you’re heading to the Oregon coast, grab your rain gear, too. Just in case.

4. Limit Sun Exposure

When the sun comes out, many light-starved Portlanders rush outdoors to hike, run, bike or just enjoy a meal at a sidewalk eatery. That’s perfectly understandable and healthy! To protect yourself from too much of a good thing, limit the time you spend outside during peak sunlight. In summer try to avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When the sun’s shining bright, you can always hike in shady Forest Park.

5. Get Regular Eye Exams

Visit your optometrist every two years. Sun damage develops over time. It’s important to monitor your vision and eye health with periodic eye exams. Your doctor may have further recommendations to protect eyes from sun damage.

If you’d like to protect your health and home from UV rays, give us a call for a free estimate!