Another “hot” topic for July, (in addition to fireworks safety), is the observance of  UV Safety Month.  Not only can the sun’s ultraviolet rays harm your eyes, but it can damage your skin, as well.  Too much sun can cause wrinkles.  Worse yet, it can cause skin cancer.   If you have places that you suspect could possibly be skin cancer, see your dermatologist, as early detection offers a good chance for successful treatment.  Make it a habit to wear sunscreen when going outdoors.  Most dermatologists will tell you, many of these suspicious places are the result of being exposed to too much sun when you were younger.  It’s never too early to start protecting your child’s skin. 

Whether at work or play, as summer heats up, it’s important for you to understand the damage that Ultraviolet waves can do to our vision.  Ultraviolet (UV) is the invisible band of radiation with a wavelength shorter than visible light and longer than x-rays – between 400 nanometers (nm) and x-rays at 4 nm and below.  Here are their three regions: 

  •       UV-A: (400-315 nm), Near UV
  •       UV-B: (315-280 nm), Mid UV
  •        UV-C:  (280-100 nm), Far UV 

Long- term exposure to ultraviolet radiation can damage eyes, and can lead to such disorders as cataracts and macular degeneration.   UV-blocking eye protection should be worn when people are exposed to the sun reflecting on water, sand, asphalt, and snow.  Many individuals are not aware of the dangers that contact with UV rays pose.  Everyone should wear eyewear blocking 99% of UVA and UVB rays, and a brimmed hat.   According to Prevent Blindness America, children are also at risk for eye damage from exposure to UV radiation.   They should wear the same UV-blocking eyewear for outdoor play, especially between 10 am and 3 pm, when UV rays are the most intense. 

When choosing sunglasses, be sure to choose lenses that absorb at least 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.  Avoid labels that state “Provides UV Protection”, but do not distinguish the proportion of UV rays it blocks.  Carefully select the type of eye protection that best fits your needs and likes: polarized, wraparounds, or vented. 

Remember these tips for sun safety AT WORK OR PLAY:

  1. Stay in the shade as much as possible;
  2. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher;
  3.  Save your sight;
  4.  Cover up!
  5.  If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks!
  6. Stay hydrated. 

Source: Blindness America