July is UV Eye Safety Month

Summertime often means long hours in the sun. Most of us remember to protect our skin by applying sunblock, but don’t forget that your eyes need protection as well. It is important to start wearing proper eye protection at an early age to shield your eyes from years of ultraviolet exposure.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Can Harm Your Eyes

Too much exposure to UV light raises your risk of eye diseases and other problems. Here are a few of the eye conditions you can avoid by wearing sunglasses:

  • Cataracts and eye cancers can take years to develop. Each time you bask in the sun without eye protection, you increase your risk of serious disease. Babies and children need to wear hats and sunglasses for this very reason. People of all ages should take precautions whenever they are outdoors.
  • Growths on the eye, such as pterygium, can show up in our teens or 20s. Surfers, skiers, fishermen, farmers, and others who spend long hours under the midday sun or near rivers, oceans, and mountains are at risk.
  • Snow blindness can happen after exposure to UV reflections off of snow, ice, sand, or water.

Learn more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Infographic about the importance of UV Protection for your eyes by wearing sunglasses

Reminder: Protect Your Eyes from Fireworks Injuries

Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on consumer fireworks, which cause more than 9,000 injuries a year. With the Fourth of July holiday just weeks away, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding the public that fireworks are not toys but incendiary devices that can cause devastating eye injuries’

The numbers are clear: Fireworks are dangerous and July 4 is an especially risky time for eye injuries.

Fireworks caused 11 deaths and 10,200 injuries in 2022, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent annual fireworks injury report (PDF). Most fireworks injuries happen between mid-June and mid-July.

Fireworks are advertised like toys around the Fourth of July. You may think you know how to handle them safely. But playing with fireworks can blind you or your loved ones, so leave fireworks to the professionals.

Learn more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

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Buying Sunglasses? Read this First

Not all sunglasses are created equal. While the choices are endless, there’s only one thing that tops all sunglass considerations and it has nothing to do with price or brand names. It’s all about the UV protection. The Optical Shoppe and the American Academy of Ophthalmology want you to know that selecting sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation is the best way to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

“Wearing sunglasses without 100 percent UV protection is actually a serious health risk,” said Lawrence Najarian, MD, Fonder of Bedminster Eye & Laser Center. Dr. Najarian and The Optical Shoppe offer these tips for buying sunglasses:

Look for the label

Only buy sunglasses labeled as 100% UV-A and UV-B or UV400 protection. If you’re unsure if your sunglasses provide proper protection, you can test lenses for UV safety with a photometer at an optical shop.

Size DOES matter

Sunglasses with larger lenses may provide more protection. Wraparound glasses offer the best coverage. These glasses can protect the eye from UV light entering from the side. Wraparounds also protect the eyes from wind, evaporation that may cause dry eye, and foreign bodies, like grit, sand or dust that can irritate the eye.

Lens type helps with comfort, not UV protection

Darker lenses or polarized lenses do not block more radiation. Lenses can come in different shades, such as amber, gray, or green, but it’s up to personal preference which is best for you. Polarized lenses can help with glare coming off reflective surfaces, making activities like driving or water sports easier and more enjoyable.

For more information about eye health, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart website.

40% OFF

Complete pair of sunglasses* with the purchase of a complete pair of eyeglasses

*excludes Maui Jim

Offer expires July 31, 2024

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