When talking about UV protection, the first thing most people think of is sunscreen. My dermatologist has long been an advocate of making sure I have proper skin coverage. With the many risks of skin cancer, more and more of us have become aware of the importance of protecting ourselves from the harmful rays of the sun. What you may not know is that our eyes are just as susceptible to this harmful UV light.

So, what do we do to protect our eyes? The answer is simple: wear UV blocking sunglasses. Most sunglasses available offer full UVA/UVB protection—it is the most important component to look for when buying sunglasses. There are also certain contact lenses which have UV protection as well. While these contact lenses will protect the eye, many skin cancers can develop around the eyelids. Therefore, good sun-wear is important to prevent damage from the sun even if your contacts have UV protection.

This becomes even more important when taking care of our children. UV protection has moved to the forefront of my mind as I think about the future of my little girl. A majority of our UV exposure happens before the age of 18. Finding the most effective protection can be tricky for kids, so UV protection in the contacts is better than nothing. Finding stylish sunglasses that your child values can sometimes make it easier for them to want to wear them. It can also give them some responsibility and feeling of ownership to not misuse or misplace the sunglasses. Whatever motivates our kids to wear sunglasses will help provide the best opportunity to keep the eyes healthy. Most common eye diseases related to UV exposure are Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Let’s do our best to keep our eyes in the best condition. Sometimes something as simple as wearing sunglasses can make that a little easier. If you have any questions or concerns about UV protection and eyewear, Precision Eye Group makes sure every pair of glasses meet the standards to protect from UV radiation and its damaging effects.