It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more Patient Portal Career Center (602) 242-4928

Protecting Your Retina from UV Radiation: Tips for Eye Sun Safety

When the sun is out, the shades go on. With sunny days and warm temperatures, the allure of outdoor activities beckons us to step outside and soak up some rays. Just as we are aware that too much UV exposure harms the skin leading to conditions such as skin cancer, we must acknowledge the eyes are just as susceptible to damage. In fact, sun rays and the retina can become a sight-threatening combination leading to various eye conditions and diseases including cataracts, pterygium, macular degeneration, photokeratitis, solar retinopathy and certain types of eye or eyelid cancers.

You can decrease your likelihood of developing UV-related eye injuries by taking the proper precautions and being proactive in your eye health. UV rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun, consisting of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. While the Earth’s atmosphere filters out most UVC rays, both UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate the eye and reach the retina. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to various retinal conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea). Protecting your retina from UV radiation can be found in Associated Retina Consultants’s Tips for Eye Sun Safety below:

  1. Wear Sunglasses: Invest in high-quality sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection or block UV rays up to 400 nanometers (UV 400). Look for sunglasses labeled as UV 400 or 100% UV Protection to ensure optimal protection for your eyes.
  2. Choose Wraparound Styles: Opt for sunglasses with wraparound frames or large lenses that provide maximum coverage and minimize UV exposure from the sides. This helps reduce the risk of UV damage to the peripheral retina.
  3. Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat: Pair your sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat for added protection against overhead sunlight and reflected UV rays. This combination provides comprehensive coverage for your eyes and surrounding skin.
  4. Seek Shade: Whenever possible seek shade, especially during peak sunlight hours when UV radiation levels are highest (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Limiting direct sun exposure reduces the cumulative damage to your retinas over time.
  5. Use UV-Protective Eyewear: In addition to sunglasses, consider wearing UV-protective eyewear while engaging in outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding or water sports. Specialty goggles or sports sunglasses with polarized lenses offer enhanced protection against glare and UV radiation.
  6. Schedule Regular Eye Exams: Schedule comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist or ophthalmologist at Associated Retina Consultants at least once a year to monitor your retinal health and detect any early signs of UV-related damage or eye diseases.

Prioritizing retinal health in the face of sun exposure is not just a matter of comfort; it’s an imperative step in preserving clear vision and preventing potentially serious eye conditions. By adopting sun safety practices such as wearing UV-protective sunglasses, seeking shade when possible and scheduling regular eye exams, you can safeguard your eyes against the harmful effects of UV radiation. Remember, your eyes are invaluable assets, and protecting them from the sun’s rays today can contribute to a lifetime of healthy vision tomorrow. For your next appointment, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or WEBSITE.