Most people are aware that UV radiation can lead to sunburns, gradual skin damage and skin cancer. But when it comes to sun protection, even the most devout of sunscreen-wearers are prone to leaving a vulnerable part exposed: their eyes.
As the most light-sensitive organ, it only makes sense that the eye would be susceptible to UV ray damage. Repeated exposure to the sun’s UVB and UVA rays can cause a host of eye diseases, including including macular degeneration, cataracts, pterygia and photokeratitis. Temporary blindness, permanent vision loss and eye cancer are all well within the scope of disorders caused by sun exposure.
It’s imperative that you protect your eyes from the sun–here’s how, and how the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation can help you at our 6th Annual Bike the Basin fundraiser!
How to Protect Yourself
- Know the risks. Your risk of UV ray damage varies according to several different factors. Location plays a critical role: the closer to the equator, the higher the risk of UV exposure, and the risk of damage increases at higher altitudes and in wide-open spaces where light can be reflected off a broad surface. Time of day is important, as well. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM, even if it’s cloudy! Check your local UV index and cover up accordingly.
- Wear protective sunglasses. Speaking of covering up, your usual getup of sun hat and sunscreen should also include a pair of high-quality sunglasses. Just any pair won’t do–for starters, they should block 100% of UV rays and block most high-energy visible (HEV) rays. In terms of shape, a wrap-around style is your best bet, since it prevents rays from entering through the sunglasses’ periphery.
- See your optometrist. Your optometrist can help you find the right pair of sunglasses, but their job goes further than that. Annual visits to the eye doctor identify eye problems before they become serious, and set you on the course of treatment.
Need a Pair of Sunglasses? Join Us at Bike the Basin!
This year, double up on your eye protection by scheduling an optometrist visit and joining the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation at our 6th Annual Bike the Basin fundraiser! We’ll be at Northampton Civic Center for a morning of raising awareness about retinal eye disease, biking, mini golf and more. Our partner Pascarella Eye Care and Contact Lenses will be there to hand out free UV-blocking sunglasses for riders and volunteers so they can stay safe while raising money towards retinal disease research. We’ll see you there!
Can’t make it to Bike the Basin but want to help out anyway? You can donate online by following this link. Every cent helps families living with degenerative retinal disease, and we are all incredibly grateful to our amazing volunteers and donors.