Posted by: Eye Center of St Augustine in Eye Health

May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month

May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month, and as the weather gets warmer, many of us are anticipating fun in the sun to enjoy the outdoors. Before enjoying this season’s warm weather, are you ready to shield yourself from harmful UV rays? Spending extended hours under the mid-day sun or in UV-rich surroundings, be it at the beach, lake, or mountains, or simply relaxing in our backyard, we must prioritize safeguarding our eyes from harmful UV rays.

Prevent Blindness has declared May as Ultraviolet Awareness Month to educate people about the harmful effects of UV rays on our eyes. Exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of developing eye cancer, cataracts, sunburned eyes, or growths on or near the eye, especially in high-risk patients. Therefore, it is recommended that everyone should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from UV radiation.

Tips To Protect Your Eyes From The UV Rays

Protecting your eyes from UV rays is essential to prevent damage to delicate eye tissue and reduce the risk of developing eye-related health issues, such as cataracts and eye cancer. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following a few guidelines to protect your eyes throughout the year.

  • Wear a hat along with your sunglasses. Broad-brimmed hats are best!
  • Protect children and senior citizens with hats and sunglasses. Everyone is at risk of sun damage!
  • Sunlight is the most substantial from midday to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off water, ice, or snow.
  • Say NO to tanning beds! Tanning beds pose the same risks to your eyes and body as outdoor UV light.
  • Eye color plays a role, with some studies suggesting that blue eyes are at more risk for UV damage than brown eyes. The protective pigment melanin may be the key detail – blue irises have less of it – and a higher incidence of age-related macular degeneration may be one consequence.
  • Never look directly at the sun. Staring directly at the sun can cause solar retinopathy, a severe injury to the eye’s retina.

By adopting these simple tips, you and your family can enjoy the outdoors this summer and all year.

Have FUN in the SUN this summer, but remember to protect your eyes and the skin you are in!

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The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association, and Prevent Blindness. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

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