Protecting your eyes from UV is a necessary precaution-especially in the Houston sun-in order to avoid eye damage and injury. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataract, age related macular degeneration (AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea. May marks Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month and The Eye Clinic of Texas wants to comment on UV protective eyewear and common sense precautions people should take to preserve eye health and vision.
Some precautions regarding UV eye protection include:
- Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays.
- Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
- Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
- Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
- Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
- Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids.
The Eye Clinic of Texas has a wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses. Patients visiting The Eye Clinic of Texas can speak with our staff who will be able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe.
If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.
The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550.