Pick shades with UV protection, and wear them a lot, optometrists urge
SUNDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Price and style -- not protection from the sun's harmful rays -- are most people's main considerations when buying sunglasses, a new survey has found.
But that's not a good thing, health-wise, says the American Optometric Association, which conducted the survey.
"Overexposure to UV [ultraviolet] rays has been linked to a variety of problems, including age-related cataracts and degeneration of the cornea," Dr. Gregory W. Good, an optometrist and association spokesman, said in a news release from the group. "Other disorders that can occur are abnormal growths on the eye's surface and even sunburn of the eyes. These conditions can cause blurred vision, irritation, redness, tearing, temporary vision loss and, in some instances, blindness."
He recommends that people wear quality sunglasses that offer proper UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat whenever they're outside. Some contact lenses, Good noted, contain a UV blocker that helps protect the eyes.
To prevent UV-related eye damage, the association recommends that people:
It's also especially important, the association said, for young children and teens to have UV-protective eyewear because they typically spend more time in the sun than adults, putting them at greater risk for eye damage.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers eye safety tips.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: American Optometric Association, news release, May 28, 2009
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