The weekend is here and time to enjoy some of the beautiful South Florida Sun! If you are going to spend a portion of your weekend outside, be sure to protect your eyes from the harmful rays the sun brings.  Here are some helpful tips to keeping your eyes safe while enjoying the outdoors and to assist you with protecting your eyes from the sun.

For optimum protection from UV rays your sun glasses should:

  • Offer the ability to absorb and block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light.
  • Guard or block against HEV (high-energy visible) light
  • Be polarized to eliminate glare – water and snow reflect and magnify glare, which can be especially harmful.
  • Fit sufficiently to shield your eyes, eyelids, and the surrounding areas.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun can actually cause sunburn (photokeratitis) to the front surface of the eye known as the cornea.  This can be extremely painful and make your eyes sensitive to light – other symptoms include a gritty feeling and excessive tearing.  Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary and will not cause permanent damage.

With long-term exposure, you run the risk of developing cataracts or even macular degeneration.  For these reasons, it is imperative that you guard your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

There are other measures you can take such as seeking shade when the sun’s glare is at its peak (10am to 4pm).  And wearing a hat or tinted visor will also help as long as it has a brim of at least 3 inches all around that can block up to half of all UVB rays that would otherwise reach your eyes and eyelids.