I see patients every day asking, “What are you doing about sun protection?” Yet less than half have an answer and some even think sun protection does not apply to them or is not a necessary priority. Ironically I can see sun damage in the eyes of many of those same patients already. So I see the effects of unprotected exposure to UV rays over longer period of times and I know it can and often does damage the eyes. The longer this happens the greater the risk of developing cataracts (which form at any age) , irreversible macular (central vision) degeneration and glaucoma (a silent optic neuropathy). So why wait for these conditions to seriously impair your vision to a point in which the Dr. then tells you it may be impossible to reverse?
The need is all around you each day. Its glare and this affects our daily lives. The sun’s glare presents risks to those who do not protect their eyes. Eye fatigue can be caused by this annoying glare. Ever drive into the sun and get annoyed with the sun’s glare? Who has not, right? How do you feel after enduring those situations where constant squinting was produced over a long period of time? What about the disabling and blinding glare? Intense light blocks vision. Each year, blinding glare results in accidents and fatalities in such critical situations as driving, cycling and walking in high traffic areas.
So take a close look around you. Is the morning sun too bright? Is there an accident risk for you? Has your environment changed and there is glare off the surrounding structures because the community you live in has high rise structures built with more reflective materials? Does your correction allow you to see and perform your best in this digital age? Smart phones, laptops, and other devices allow folks to work outside and on the go; how well can you see those when you are outdoors?
So many have this day to day relationship with the sun that causes stress and fatigue and in some cases present a danger to others and a risk to their eye health. It is a slow, stealthy deterioration to your eyesight. So then the prescription to your eye health is not exactly a hard pill to swallow either. For safety, comfort and protection on the job, in the car, on the water, on the beach, riding on a motorcycle, in a boat, on the golf course or in your back yard, sun protection is crucial. Important to all of us both who need ophthalmic prescription glasses as well as those who do not. Let us not leave out that fun feeling that comes from looking cool either.
Please talk to your eye care professional and learn what the best solutions are for you.
To your eye health!