Watch Now: Protecting Young Eyes

South Florida’s summer sun means countless hours outdoors for children and teens. While many heed the advice to wear sunblock to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays, others may not take steps to shield their eyes from that same dangerous ultraviolet light.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation over a short period of time can lead to a condition known as photokeratitis, commonly referred to as a “sunburn of the eye”. It can be a painful condition that includes redness, the feeling of a foreign body in the eye, photo sensitivity and tearing.

Mark Feldman, M.D., an ophthalmologist with the Baptist Eye Surgery Center at Sunrise, says that long term exposure to sunlight without protection “can lead to changes in the surface of the eye which can lead to chronic irritation and red eyes”.

Research has shown that even mild exposure to UV radiation over a period of years can increase the chances of developing a cataract and can even cause damage to the retina, the lining of the eye that is used for seeing.

Dr. Feldman also touts the importance of wearing caps or wide-brimmed hats as another layer to protect the face and even eyelids from skin cancer.

According to the American Optometric Association, to provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should:

  • Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation;
  • Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light;
  • Be perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection; and
  • Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition.

The lenses in sunglasses should be made from polycarbonate if you participate in potentially eye-hazardous work or sports. These lenses provide the most impact resistance.

The Baptist Health South Florida News Team gets more safety tips from Dr. Feldman. Watch now.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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