Eye protection during sunny days helps prevent vision loss - WKRN News 2

Eye protection during sunny days helps prevent vision loss

Posted: Updated: July 25, 2013 03:41 AM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Whether it is work or play, protecting your eyes from damaging sun rays should be a top priority.

Prolonged exposure to high levels of sunlight over a long period of time could cause vision loss.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Weikert said that it's important to protect eyes in sunny weather by wearing shades or a hat with a brim, and using sunscreen around the eyes.

"Certainly, as an ophthalmologist, we worry because the skin around the eye is very sensitive and too much exposure can cause skin damage as well as some of the layers that cover the white part of the eye," he explained.

The best defense against the sun's rays is good eye protection, particularly around water.

Water can intensify the light.

"Light rays will hit the water and reflect off it, and that produces a different kind of light ray," Dr. Weikert said. "That's why polarized sunglasses can be very helpful in protecting your eyes when you're around water. Sometimes even reflections off roads, from headlights at night, all those things; polarized lenses can be helpful in protecting your eyes."

The UV rays in sunlight can do more damage than some might think.

He explained that some doctors theorize UV sunlight can harm eye lenses, causing cataracts or affecting the retina.

Protective eyewear is not only important to shield the eyes from sunlight exposure, but also while doing ordinary tasks like yard work, or even playing summer sports.

Dr. Weikert explained that the Vanderbilt Eye Institute also sees a lot of eye injuries from tree branches and flying rocks or debris when people do yard work.

Wearing safety goggles while mowing lawns and using weed eaters is another important precaution to take while working outside.

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