Vancouverites were lucky enough to enjoy the sunshine over Victoria Day and I was surprised to see several people walking outside without their sunglasses. There seems to be more awareness about protecting our skin from UV radiation and skin cancer, but many forget about the eyes. UV radiation damages our eyes and contributes to different eye diseases. More specifically, UVA radiation reaches the lens and retina, and causes some forms of cataracts and may be associated with macular degeneration. UVB radiation reaches the cornea and conjunctiva, and causes photokeratitis (sun burn of the eye) as well as pterygia and pingueculae (calluses/tissue overgrowth on the eye’s surface). Shorter wavelength visible light (purple and blue light rays) also known as HEV is linked to macular degeneration.
Do you want to protect your eyes? Here are some solutions (all are available at Avenue Eyecare):
1. Prescription sunglasses and photochromic lenses
2. Sunglasses (our sunglasses have 100% UVA and UVB protection, several have polarized lenses)
3. UV coated lenses in your everyday glasses
4. Fit-overs (sunglasses that fit over your regular glasses)
5. Frames with custom polarized magnetic clip-on sunglasses
6. Some contact lens manufacturers make lenses with some degree of UV protection
Most importantly, children should start wearing sunglasses as soon as possible. UV radiation damage accumulates over time and the sooner they start protecting their eyes, the lower their risk for developing eye diseases. Please come visit us to determine the best options for protecting your eyes from UV damage.
Dr. Jessica Chang, OD email@example.com