Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Is UV Safety Awareness Month

Ultraviolet rays (UV) are everywhere! The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has named July as UV Safety Awareness Month. Exposure to the sun intensifies in the summer as we spend more time outdoors and expose ourselves to reflected UV rays while playing in the water, on sand, and walking or riding bikes on pavement. The AAO recommends that you:
  • Wear sunglasses or solar filters that screen UV-A and UV-B rays. Your eye doctor can check your sunglasses to be sure they offer protection from both types of rays.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat to offer additional protection from the sun's rays.
  • Wear goggles while swimming. Pools, ponds and lakes have plenty of bacteria that can enter under eyelids and contact lenses. Wash your eyes after swimming.

In spite of the body's resilience to sunburn, damage to the eyes can occur even with one serious exposure. Like sunburn, the outer effects may disappear, but the effects can be devastating over time. Age-related macular degeneration can be traced to over-exposure to the sun. Cataracts are a major cause of vision problems with older people.

At Capabilities we carry a line of solar filters developed by our primary vision supplier, Eschenbach. Available in a number of tints - amber, yellow, orange, polarized gray, plum -, each designed to help control a different type of issue, all Eschenbach solar filters provide protection from all UV rays. There are options to wear over eyeglasses and those to wear alone if no eyeglasses are necessary.

Do you wear solar filters or sunglasses? Post your comments and questions about protecting your eyes from UV damage.

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