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Summer Sun Damage and Your Eyes

girl smiling sunglasses

6 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

You can avoid many of the damaging effects of sun by following these tips:

  1. Schedule outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon/early evening hours when the sun's rays are not quite as intense.
  2. Wear sunglasses every time you step outdoors. Look for glasses that block 100 percent of UV rays. Wraparound sunglasses provide the best protection.
  3. Block blue light by buying sunglasses with copper or bronze-colored lenses. (Make sure the glasses also protect you from UV light.)
  4. Buy a hat with a large brim for increased sun protection.
  5. Wear sunglasses even if your contacts block UV light. Although the protection is very helpful, your lenses don't protect your entire eye.
  6. Don't take your sunglasses off in shady locations. Your UV exposure decreases in the shade, but you will still receive some exposure from reflected light from sand, road surfaces or buildings.

Sunscreen provides an excellent way to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun, but did you know that your eyes can also suffer from sun damage? Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause a variety of eye problems, ranging from "sunburn" of the cornea to cancer. Learning more about the way the sun affects your eyes can help you prevent damage.

What Types of Light Cause Damage?

UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation. Unlike visible light, it can't be seen because it has a shorter wavelength. Types of UV light include:

What Conditions or Diseases Can Be Caused by Exposure to UV Light?

Exposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing these conditions:

Factors That Can Increase Your Risk of Sun Damage

You risk of eye sun damage may be higher if you:

During your yearly eye exam, your doctor not only tests your vision, but also looks for possible signs of sun damage. If it's time for your next exam, or if you have any concerns about your eye health, call us today to schedule an appointment.


Skin Cancer Foundation: How Sunlight Damages the Eyes, 12/7/12


American Optometric Association: UV Protection


The Vision Council: Spare Your Sight


All About Vision: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation and Your Eyes, 5/16


All About Vision: Blue Light: Bad for Your Eyes?, 4/16


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