- Special Sections
- Public Notices
As adults and children alike are enjoying summer activities, it’s important for everyone under the sun to protect their eyes from ultraviolet rays.
“Just one day of overexposure to the sun can damage a child’s cornea, leading to cataracts later in life,” said Dr. Mark Lynn, who is the owner and operator of 13 optometry stores in Kentucky, including Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld in Elizabethtown. “Even on an overcast day, UV rays can burn the skin around the eyes as well as damage the cornea. It’s never too late for kids or adults to start wearing sunglasses.”
Here are a few things for parents to consider when they head outdoors with children.
nThe American Optometric Association reports overexposure to the sun without protection can cause an increased risk of developing certain types of cataracts or damage to the retina. It could also increase the risk of benign growths on the surface of the eyes; photokeratitis, a temporary and painful sunburn on the eye surface; and cancer of the eyelids or skin around the eye.
nExperts recommend parents should were sunglasses with ultraviolet protection, setting an example for their children. And the most effective way to get a child to wear sunglasses is to let them select their own, Lynn said.
n Look for function and not just fashion. Make sure glasses block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays, and consider gray lenses to prevent color distortion.
nAs for contact lenses — pull them out before swimming, or throw them out after swimming. Soft contact lenses can absorb chlorine, germs, anything in the pool, Lynn said. Goggles with a prescription and UV-block are available.
Have a suggestion for The List? Email email@example.com.