By Judith Whitehead – Contributing Writer
UV radiation from the sun can be detrimental to our health. People who spend a lot of time sun bathing and working outside are at a greater risk of exposure. Exposure to UV light can cause anything from skin cancers to several eye diseases.
Many years ago, the public had no idea about the harmful rays of the sun could cause. There we were in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s sitting in the sun, swimming with no skin protection and even rubbing baby oil on our skin to tan more quickly.
Now the Baby Boomers are paying the price. Working in the field of ophthalmology, my colleagues and I see many people with growing cataracts, skin problems, growths on their eyeball and aging in the back or retina of the eye.
Many of these eye maladies were accelerated by little UV protection for the eyes.
UV light can be blocked by UV protection in glasses. It is a clear protection put into glasses. Whether the lenses are clear or sunglass lenses, they will protect wearers from harmful rays. In many cases, the amount of UV protection is noted on the label of the glasses.
UV specs do not have to be expensive and can be put in any pair of glasses.
A high percent of sunscreen coverage should be used and reapplied several times if one is outside all day. One dose on the skin is not enough to last several hours and has to be reapplied throughout the day.
The aging process can cause cataracts or clouding of the body’s natural lens in the eye, macular degeneration in the retina, or aging spots, called drusen, in the retina.
Why hasten the formation of these eye conditions by not protecting your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun?
Protect your children, family members and yourselves from future medical issues that can be simply avoided with a little protection.
Judith Whitehead, of East Amherst, is a certified ophthalmic technician.