According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, June is UV Safety Month. While every month in the parts of the world where the sun comes up every day could reasonably be called a UV Safety Month, the summertime is a particularly harsh season due to the most direct angle of sunlight striking the earth’s surface — and by extension, your eyes. If you can see daylight, it is getting into your eyes and working to cause damage. This is a special case, since the Houston and Sugar Land sun is particularly strong.
What Sunlight Can Do
While gamma radiation may get the proverbial limelight due to its dramatic effects over the short term, you have far more to be concerned about due to the ultraviolet or UV radiation that bombards your eyes every day. Not to sound alarmist, but there is a significant danger here. The danger is particularly pronounced if you spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying nature. Even in the winter time, and sometimes even more so because of snow on the ground, your eyes are under threat from the effects the sun can have on them.
Poets have said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. While this may or may not be true, they are definitely windows into your body. Your exposure to the sun’s light can increase your risk of certain types of problems. Among those are age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and even eye cancer. The effects can begin very subtly, and since they can take many years to develop, you may not even think about them until you have a serious problem. Fortunately, there are ways that you can protect your eyesight and your overall health. While you cannot apply sunscreen to your eyes as you should to your skin, there are other forms of protection.
Protecting Yourself Effectively
You need to protect your eyes from the UV light the sun gives off, and there is a lot that you can do to make protecting yourself a common and simple matter. For starters, you can select good sunglasses that will block UV rays. By law, markings on the sunglasses when they are sold will tell you if they block 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. If you can, find a wrap-around style of sunglasses that go all the way to your temples and keep solar radiation from entering at the sides.
You can also wear contact lenses and a hat to reduce your exposure to UV rays, but do not rely on these to protect yourself. Whenever you are outside during the daytime, you must wear your sunglasses. Do not rely on the fact that it is early morning or there is cloud cover, as these are not enough to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. While the UV amount may be worse during the summertime, you can and should protect yourself all year round.
Finally, getting checked out by a professional ophthalmologist like at Houston LASIK & Eye will also help to stem any damage that may be happening.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.