Don’t let your eyes get burned in the summer sun

By Rachel Dubrovin
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Not only is it uncomfortable to be stuck in the summer sun without a pair of shades, doctors say it can be dangerous. Optometrists say it’s especially important to protect your children’s eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Eye doctors we spoke with say remembering your sunglasses is just as important as remembering to put on sunscreen.
Dr. Bary Brown at Sunshine Eye Clinic said, “I really think that that’s something that we something we forget about. We have sunscreen on, but the eyes are really what we have to protect as well.”
That’s because similar to a sunburn on your skin, the eyes and eyelids can get burned as well. If that happens repeatedly, doctors say you’re likely going to have eye issues later in life.
“You know, those long days when you’re outside, even if you wear sunglasses, if you don’t have the proper protection and your eyes burn at the end of the day, that’s typically UV doing that,” said Dr. Brad Lewis, “Exposure like that, typically it’s going to recover overnight, for the short term. Artificial tears can help you feel better. But long term effects, you can get cataracts forming sooner, you could have macular degeneration, you could have more aging spots, wrinkles, you could have skin lesions, skin cancer around the eyes if you’re not protected.”
Dr. Lewis, who’s an optometrist at the Vision Clinic in Springfield, says parents should keep in mind that kids’ eyes are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun.
“Sunglasses at a young age is very, very important,” he said, “An interesting statistic is that up to 50% of UV exposure you’re going to have your whole life is going to be before you’re age 18. Because kids are outside playing, they’re outdoors, their lense inside their eye is not as good at filtering out UV as it is when we get older.”……..