We spoke with Dr. David Depugh of The Vision Center in New Boston, OH - serving New Boston, Portsmouth, Wheelersburg and Lucasville - to find out what can be done about this eye health problem.
What can a person do to protect herself from sun exposure?
Limit your time to direct sun exposure, use sunblock on skin, wear a cap with a bill or visor.
What exactly are “ultraviolet rays?”
Light which has a wavelength shorter than visible light. It is invisible to the eye, but carries much greater energy than visible light, and can have damaging effects during prolonged exposure.
How can people protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays?
Sunglasses with full coverage and shading from a cap or visor.
What type of sunglasses best protect from UV rays?
Wrap sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B blocking.
I have heard about blue light being a concern as well. Can you talk a little bit about this and what it means for protecting your eyes?
Blue light is generally emitted from fluorescent tubes and video display terminals (VDT’s). Most people ignore this light, but some people find that blue light irritates their eyes or causes headaches. Scientist is finding that prolonged exposure to blue light can possibly cause cataracts and/or retinal damage. Special lenses are now becoming available to filter out this damaging blue light.
I’ve heard of getting my skin sunburned, but can your eyes also get sunburned?
Yes, the conjunctiva and cornea can get sunburn, resulting in scratchy, red, dry irritated eyes.
Do darker sunglasses mean better sun protection?
Not necessarily, the amount of UV-A and UV-B absorption is more important.
Does having a prescription make it harder to get the right sunglasses?
No, we are able to obtain prescription sunglasses with full ultraviolet protection in virtually any prescription.