Your Sunglasses Should Do More Than Just Look Cool

by Millennium Physician Group

 

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Most of us don’t even think twice about grabbing the sunblock, but our skin is not the only body part that needs protection. Our eyes also need some shade to protect them from permanent sun damage. “Not protecting your eyes from the sun can lead to a lot of issues,” says Family Medicine Physician Nektarios Demetriou, D.O. “You can have retinal issues, it can increase molecular degeneration issues, it can have effects on the lens over a period of time. There is a whole host of issues sun damage can cause.”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says each time you bask in the sun without eye protection, you increase your risk of serious eye diseases, including cataracts and eye cancers. Just like with your skin, prevention is the best way to avoid sun-related eye damage. “Protect your eyes with sunglasses or any type of visor that can block out any type of UV light,” recommends Dr. Demetriou. “Make sure that any glasses you have, sunglasses, are basically able to block out UV light. It’s extremely important.”

Dr. Demetriou also advises:

  • wearing a broad-brimmed hat
  • limiting exposure during the midday hours
  • never looking directly at the sun

Dr. Demetriou recommends if you have reason to believe you may already have eye or skin damage from UV rays, discuss it with your primary-care provider. “If you can catch things early, obviously, it’s all about prevention. Prevention, prevention, prevention,” he emphasizes. “That’s why, even if you don’t have an issue, see your doctor to prevent anything going forward. The dividends of that will be huge.”

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