Sun & UV eye protection in Houston requires some careful considerations, especially as we enter the summer months and in consideration of May being designated Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month. Allan Fradkin, M.D., a Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic of Texas commented on UV protective eyewear and precautions people should take. “The summer months in Houston are a great time to be outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming-going to the beach-and just enjoying our community. But, with more exposure to the sun and ultraviolet or UV rays on a daily basis, we need to be reminded to use proper UV eye protection”, remarked Dr. Fradkin.
Almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, however most people do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. 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.
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.
Today we have 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 Texas EyeWear at 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 feel free to call Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.