Commentary by Hannah Wilson
Summer in Indiana is in full swing! With a pandemic continuing to restrict certain activities, no doubt you and your family plan to make the most of the great outdoors. Whether you are hiking, enjoying time on the water or attempting projects at home, it is important to ensure that your eyes are protected.
Getting in the habit of wearing a good, quality pair of sunglasses is the best way to protect your eyes from UV damage. Did you know that excess UV exposure can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts, photokeratitis (like a sunburn of the eyes), growths on the conjunctiva and even forms of eyelid cancer? In order to provide maximal protection, sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation, sit close to your eyes and contour to the shape of your face.
Adding polarization to the lenses reduces glare by blocking reflections and also provides superior clarity. It is just as crucial to ensure that children wear sunglasses while outdoors. Studies show that 80 percent of UV exposure happens prior to the age of 18, so the earlier you instill the habit of wearing sunglasses in your children, the better.
Especially during this current season, many people are pursuing new home projects or revamping their outdoor spaces. It is estimated that more than twice as many eye injuries occur at home than in the workplace. Whether you are using power tools or performing yard work, wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris, like dust, wood and metal, as well as chemicals. Safety glasses are inexpensive, lightweight, scratch-resistant and, most important, impact-resistant. Taking the simple measure of wearing safety glasses in situations where you may encounter flying debris or chemicals can prevent potentially sight-threatening injuries.
In the midst of all of the summer chaos, it can be easy to forget about your eyes. During 2020, the year of vision, make sure that your family’s eyes are protected, not neglected.
Hannah Wilson is an optometrist at RevolutionEYES and Little Eyes Pediatric Eye Care in Carmel. She is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your family’s vision needs and can be reached at [email protected].