July is UV Safety Awareness Month. While the sun's warmth can feel great, remember that the sun also emits ultraviolet radiation known as Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B.
UV-B rays are shorter wavelengths and can reach the outer skin layer, while UV-A is longer wavelengths and penetrate the middle layer of the skin.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has some useful tips for UV safety:
- Do not focus on the color or darkness of your sunglass lenses. Choose sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays. Do not be fooled by price or color. It doesn't matter how dark or expensive the sunglass lenses, the ability to block UV light does not depend on their price.
Make sure you have 100 percent UV protection.Make certain your sunglasses block 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.
Wrap-around sunglasses are the best: Your sunglasses, or the lenses of your frame, should wrap around your temples. This will prevent the sun's rays from entering your eyes from the sides.
- Wear a hat To protect your eyes, you should wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Do not rely on contact lenses to protect your eyes: Remember to wear sunglasses, even if you have contact lenses that provide UV protection.
- Do not be deceived by clouds. The sun's rays are able to pass through thick and thin clouds. Sun damage to the eyes may occur at any time of the year.
- Keep your eyes protected during peak sunlight hours: Sunglasses are essential for anyone who is outside in the morning and at higher elevations where UV light can be more intense.
- Never look directly at a sun. Solar retinopathy can be caused by looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse.
Do not forget the children: Everybody is at risk.
Sunglasses and hats can be used to protect their eyes. Children should be kept out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
To maintain good vision at all ages, it is important to have regular eye exams to ensure that you are wearing the right safety glasses.
This content is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions regarding a medical condition, consult your doctor or another qualified health provider.
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