With the advent of summer, more and more people are participating in outdoor activities. There”s always a great deal of talk about the use of sunscreens to protect from possible skin cancer, but eye care specialists also recommend that people protect their vision when outdoors.
“Prolonged exposure to ultra-violet light from the sun can negatively impact vision,”# said Alan Brown, OD, FAAO, with Thomas Eye Group. “UV exposure has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions. We recommend that patients invest in sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays to protect their eyesight. Even if you wear prescription glasses, most popular sunglass styles can be made to include the 100 percent UV protection, plus glare-reducing polarized tints.”#
According to recent research, the sun”s high-energy visible (HEV) radiation, which is considered “near UV”# rays, may also increase the risk for macular degeneration, particularly in people with low blood plasma levels, or deficiencies in vitamin C or other antioxidants.
“The quality of the sunglasses you select and the configuration – their shape and form, including wrap-around styles – can help reduce the risk of vision damage,”# Dr. Brown said. “And be aware that even on cloudy days, UV rays still have the potential to harm your eyes.”#
The National Eye Institute and National Institutes of Health recommend regular eye examinations.
“Having your vision tested annually with a dilated examination can help avert possible eye and vision problems,”# said Dr. Brown. “Even with a routine eye examination, an eye care specialist can detect potential issues and address them in a timely manner.”#
A dilated eye examination will check for acuity of vision, field of sight and peripheral vision, the possibility of glaucoma and retinal problems.
About Thomas Eye Group
Founded in 1974, Thomas Eye Group has served the greater Atlanta community by providing eye care services to patients ranging in age from infants to seniors. Thomas Eye Group is a full-service eye care provider with offices in seven locations in and around the greater Atlanta area providing routine eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, as well as medical, surgical and cosmetic services. Thomas Eye Group is proud to be the official eye doctor of the Atlanta Thrashers. For more information, visit www.thomaseyegroup.com.