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The Wellness Blog

Cumulative UV Exposure Can Damage Your Eyes

Dr. Dora Adamopolous, OD
eye2eye Optometry Corner

More sun means more UV exposure, both for your skin and eyes. Just like we protect our skin by applying proper SPF and wear a hat to reduce glare, wearing proper sunglasses are the “sunscreen for your eyes.”

Water reflects up to 100% of UV, but what about other activities? Dry sand and concrete reflect up to 25%, snow reflects up to 85%, and grass reflects up to 3%. Basically, UV is coming at you from all directions.

Why protect your eyes? Sunburned skin isn’t fun, so imagine how sunburned eyes feel. Red, irritated, burning, and/or blurring that doesn’t get better after putting in over the counter drops, are all signs that your eyes are probably sunburned. In more severe cases, extreme sensitivity to light and swelling lids can also occur. Preventing accumulated UV exposure helps reduce your risk of developing cataracts and developing irreversible macular degeneration as you age.

What about the kids? How often do you see parents wearing sunglasses, but their kids are in the stroller or walking with a hat, squinting because UV rays are going into their eyes. Parents, take off your sunglasses and see how long you are comfortable before you get irritable and cranky. Remember, problems come from cumulative UV, so early prevention is key. Make sure your kids are wearing sunglasses too. Just like with any habit, you need to be consistent and carry sunglasses along with you wherever you go.

Haven’t had a baseline wellness eye exam in a while? Or ever? Schedule one now to make sure your eye health stays on track with your other wellness goals. Click here for your Del Ray Eye Exam.


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