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Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month

Baltimore Washington Eye Center wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated May as National Ultraviolet Eye Awareness Month. “Most people know the harmful effects that ultraviolet (UV) rays can have on the skin. But many are not aware of the damage that they can cause to the eyes,” said Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Possibly the most frightening aspect of UV damage is that it is cumulative, meaning the negative effects may not present themselves until years later.”


Today almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, most do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision.
“Most of us wouldn’t dream of staying outside in the sun without putting on sunscreen lotion,” said Arturo Betancourt, M.D., Medical Director of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “But we also need to remember to wear both UV-blocking lenses and a brimmed hat to protect our eyes as well.”
Patients are fortunate to have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses.

“We know that extended exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems, conditions and in some cases thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as Cataract, Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea,” said Dr. Spagnolo.
When you visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center please ask us any questions you might have about UV protection, eye disease and the best way to protect your eyes with the proper eyewear and lens choices. Please feel free to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center Toll Free at 800.495.3937 to help answer questions or schedule an appointment.