Baltimore Washington Eye Center Highlights Need for UV Eye Protection Awareness

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, May 5, 2014

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Highlights Need for UV Eye Protection Awareness

May marks National Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month. While almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, many people are unaware of or do not appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is 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. Most disturbing and often overlooked is the fact that UV eye damage and injury is cumulative and often doesn’t become noticeable to patients for many years.

Baltimore residents can take some simple steps to protect themselves from UV eye damage:
  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays.
  • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids. 
If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear you are encouraged to contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.