Stay Safe During UV Safety Month

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in General Eye Health on July 8, 2022

Making the most of the summer here in the Pacific Northwest and soaking up all of the sun is essential. After all, fall’s foggy mornings will return way too soon! 

But as you soak up the summer sun, it’s important to cautious to protect your vision and eyesight. July is UV Safety Month, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

Keep reading to learn how to keep your eyes safe and enjoy yourself this summer during UV Safety Month!

How Sunlight Can Hurt Your Eyes

It’s more than you squinting against the glare. Sunlight has ultraviolet light, and although it’s only ten percent of sunlight, this light does the most damage to your health.

UV light is what creates summer suntans and sunburns when you overdo exposure to the sun. While you feel a sunburn on your skin, you won’t feel the damage UV does to your eyes until it’s too late. 

When your skin darkens in the sun, that’s the body’s natural defense system trying to protect you from UV. UV can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens. 

With repeated exposure over a lifetime, the damage can lead to serious eye conditions. Prevent vision loss with these simple actions.

Wear Sunglasses and Hats Outside

Start this habit as early as possible. If you have children, make sure they wear broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses. 

Even if this wasn’t a habit growing up, you can still shield your eyes with broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses and stop further damage to your eyes. Everyone at every age should make this sort of eye protection a daily habit. 

Choose UV-Blocking Sunglasses 

All sunglasses are not made the same! Always buy sunglasses labeled UV400 or state they have one hundred percent UV protection.

Watch Out for These Higher-Risk Conditions

Certain medications, drugs, and conditions cause increased photosensitivity. Take extra care if you use Retin-A skin cream or antibiotics. 

You are more vulnerable to UV damage if you have light-colored eyes like blue, hazel, or green.

Effects of UV radiation

Cataracts and Eye Cancers

UV radiation can cause cataracts and eye cancers to develop. Cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, often results from aging but can be worsened by sun exposure. 

The most common cancer that starts in the eye is a form of melanoma. In the same way that melanoma affects the skin, ocular melanoma begins in the cells that make the pigment that gives your eyes color.

Growths

Growths on the eye are another concern. Two common conditions are pinguecula and pterygium, which are growths on your eye’s conjunctiva, the clear covering over the white part of the eye. 

Pterygium, often called surfer’s eye, can show up in your teens or twenties. It also affects skiers, fishermen, farmers, and others who spend long hours under the midday sun or near rivers, oceans, and mountains.

Photokeratitis

Photokeratitis is similar to having a sunburned eye. It can be caused by sun reflection from sand, water, ice, and snow. 

Tanning beds and lamps, arc welding, and staring into a solar eclipse without eye protection are other sources. Pain, redness, blurriness, and tearing are all symptoms. 

While it usually goes away on its own, it’s your eyes’ way of telling you to wear protection.

Make Eye Safety Fun

While eye protection is serious business, you can also have fun. Buy one hundred percent UV protection sunglasses in a variety of styles to suit your mood and wardrobe.

You can do the same thing with hats, caps, and visors. Just make sure the brim is wide enough to shade your eyes.

Keep hats and sunglasses by the front door, so you’ll wear them each and every time you go out. With these simple practices, you’ll win at UV Safety Month!

Do you want to learn more about protecting your eyes from the sun? Schedule an appointment about EyeHealth Northwest in Happy Valley, OR, today!


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Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more