Summer Eye Protection

The blazing sun can be a bothersome, forcing outdoor enthusiasts to squint if their eyes aren’t protected. Sun protection is important all year as that big ball of fire in the sky can be dangerous.

Ophthalmologist at Rapid City Medical Center, Rebecca Lindquist, says “UV protection is very important for your eyes. Not only can it help prevent glare and discomfort from the sun, it can also prevent diseases progressing. UV light has been known to cause macular degeneration, cancers of the eye and can lead to cataract development.

Lindquist suggests looking for sunglasses that are 100 percent UV-blocking or have the label “UV 400”.  The price of the glasses or color of the lenses shouldn’t matter, as long as they have the correct labeling. But name brands are generally more trusted with the protection level.

Polarized lenses help to reduce glare but are not always UV protecting, so again, check the manufacturer details. And the bigger the better when it comes to sunglasses, protecting more of the area around the eye.

“Sunglasses also help protect your lids from getting cancers – melanomas that can develop inside the eye and cancers that you can get on the skin, the white part of your eye.”

It’s important to not only watch out for sun damage in the summer, but also general summertime eye safety hazards.

“Number one, again, sunglasses. Number two is eye protection … especially when mowing, grass and rock chips can get your eye. A lot of people are out playing sports where eye protection can potentially prevent eye injury.”

Another concern in the summer months is the flare up of allergies. “We’ve had a lot of allergies this year. Make sure that you are taking your allergy medicines and see your eye doctor if you are having a lot of symptoms.”

Lindquist notes that wearing a hat is always a good idea for additional sun protection. And follow the age-old wisdom to never look directly at the sun.

For more information on eye protection, contact Dr. Linquist at 605-343-2020

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