We all know that excessive exposure to the sun can damage our skin – this is because of the UV (Ultraviolet) rays. The eyes get affected by UV rays too! It is important for you to take care of your eyes as much as you do of your skin during the sunny summer days. Our kids ophthalmologist strongly encourages parents to take their children’s eye and vision health seriously as children’s eyes are more delicate.
Therefore, in this article we will explain exactly what the UV rays are, how they affect eye health and how you can keep your loved ones safe.
What are UV rays?
UV radiation mainly comes from the sun and man-made sources like tanning beds, or welding torches. The strength of this radiation is medium – it lies between high-frequency radiation, like x-rays, and low-frequency rays, like radio waves. Different UV rays have different levels of energy, and the higher-energy UV rays can damage our DNA leading to cancer.
Exposure to UV rays can cause many eye problems ranging from photo conjunctivitis (also known as “snow blindness”) from short term exposure to cataracts, pterygium (a non-cancerous growth over the cornea) and skin cancer of the eyelids from long term exposure.
Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that you and your family wear high quality sunwear with 100% UV protection at all times! Our optical shop has a range of glasses for you to pick from and our children’s eye doctor will gladly support you during your visit.
The American Cancer Society explains that there are three main types of UV rays:
- UVA rays – UVA rays age the skin cells and can damage their DNA. These rays pass through the cornea and reach inside the eye, damaging the lens and the retina. They promote the development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- UVB rays – These rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. These rays affect us on the surface causing wrinkles, sunburn and cancers.
- UVC rays – UVC rays are the most powerful out of all three, but they do not get through our atmosphere. This means that they do not affect us at all and hence do not normally contribute to cancers.
The sun rays are not entirely made up of UV rays – UV rays make up only a fraction. Out of that, approximately 95% of the UV rays that reach the ground are UVA rays, and 5% are UVB rays.
The important thing to remember about UV rays is that they reflect off surfaces like water, and sand and they penetrate through clouds. Therefore, you must be particularly careful when taking your children on a holiday, or to the beach. Do not forget to apply plenty of sunscreen and keep appropriate eye wear on at all times. Our kids ophthalmologist will advise you on the types of eye wear you can equip your family with to make your summer days more enjoyable!
How to avoid UV rays?
Protecting yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of UV rays is actually relatively easy.
It is recommended to follow these 3 simple actions:
- Wear 100% UV Protection sunglasses, or wraparound glasses – you can consult our ophthalmologist for help
- Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the areas around your glasses, which are not protected by the sunglasses.
- Never look directly at the sun! Even during an eclipse, on a hazy day or when wearing high quality eyewear.
About our Children’s Eye Doctor near you!
Our exceptional doctors, Amy Lambert, MD, and Rachel Bloom, MD, are both board certified pediatric ophthalmologists. Dr. Lambert, the founder of Pediatric Eye Associates, LLc, is also a board certified strabismus surgeon, and Dr. Bloom is additionally fellowship trained.
Our child eye doctors are experts at meeting your children’s eye and visual needs. We pride ourselves with the results we achieve with our patients and we believe the key is not just our medical expertise, but also attitude and patience with the children. Our motto is “to provide the highest quality eye care for children in a setting that is comfortable and reassuring.”
We understand that you will have many questions about our Livingston ophthalmologist, so if any of them are still unanswered, please refer to our FAQs page, or contact us. You can get in touch with us by:
- Visiting our practice
22 Old Short Hills Rd. Lower Level-1,Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Open hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 – 17:00
- Calling us on 973-422-1230
- Submitting the enquiry form on our contact us page
- Checking our facebook page – Pediatric Eye Associates, LLC
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.