Many of us are great about using sunscreen to protect our skin, but neglect to protect our eyes. As the weather warms and we spend more time outdoors, we risk increased exposure to UV radiation from the sun that may increase the risk of eye diseases, such as cataracts, growths on the eye and even cancer. During the summertime, levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) are at least three times higher than during the winter, so proper eye protection is a must!
Following are some tips to consider when selecting eye protection:
1. Wear sunglasses that are labeled to offer 99-100% UV protection.
2. The more coverage the sunglasses provide the better. Bigger lens on sunglasses or wraparound styles offer more protection by reducing the amount of UV entering from the side.
3. The color of the lens doesn’t matter. Dark lenses do not necessarily block more UV rays. The colored lenses may increase contrast, which may be helpful for those participating in outdoor sports.
4. Like color, polarized lenses do not offer more eye protection. The polarized lenses reduce glare, which again can be helpful in outdoor activities, particularly around water and cement.
5. The price of sunglasses should not be a factor. Sunglasses marked 99-100% UV protection come in all price ranges.
So next time you head outdoors, don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses. Even better, grab a broad-brimmed hat and you can enjoy the summer sun safely while protecting your vision.
About the Author:
Lyja Levas has worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor. She is a BaySport Group Exercise Instructor as well as the Group Exercise Coordinator. A California native, Lyja enjoys outdoor activities (with her sunglasses and hat!) such as camping, hiking and kayaking.