UV Index: Very High
You probably don’t think about ultraviolet radiation too much. UV radiation from the sun is particularly strong in the summertime. According to the National Weather Service, the Philadelphia UV Index this week was 8, which is considered “Very High” so if you’re not careful, you are probably exposing your eyes to these invisible, yet damaging UV rays.
Complete UV Protection
There are 2 kinds of harmful ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. Although only tiny amounts of UVA and UVB light reach the inner eye, the retina is extremely sensitive to damage which builds up over time and can increase the chances of earlier development of some debilitating eye diseases later in life like macular degeneration. Even in the short term, small amounts of exposure can result in sunburn of the eye, or photokeratitis, which can cause pain, blurred vision or in serious cases, temporary blindness.
Optometrist Gretchen J. Brewer OD advises wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Ultraviolet protection can also be added as a coating to your regular prescription glasses so your eyes are protected from the UV filtering through clouds on overcast days, too.
If you are fare-skinned and light-eyed, your body is more susceptible to sun damage. Avoid direct and reflected sun as much as possible. Choose large sunglasses to protect more of the eye and surrounding skin. Wear a cap with a visor or a sun hat with a brim for the best UV protection.
Discuss UV with your Optometrist
For more information about reducing your risk for sun damage with the different UV protection options, including adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses, talk to your eye doctor in North Wales or Northeast Philadelphia at Dr. Gretchen J. Brewer O.D. & Associates.