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Be Sun-Wise With Your Eyes

May_UV_Awareness_month_facebookDr. Barbara Tarbell discusses damages to eyes from UV exposure

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ (May 1, 2015) – The same sun rays that lead to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin are just as bad for your eyes, according to Dr. Barbara Tarbell. The culprit is ultraviolet (UV) rays and because May is National UV Awareness Month, Dr. Tarbell encourages everyone to be “sun-wise” with their eyes.

“Unprotected exposure to UV radiation can cause photokeratitis, which is basically sunburn of the eyes marked by painful, red eyes and sensitivity to light,” Dr. Tarbell said. “The symptoms usually clear up quickly and cause no permanent damage to the eyes; however, growing evidence suggests that long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts, serious eye conditions that can cause vision impairment or loss.”

Dr. Tarbell suggests the following to protect the eyes from serious damage:
• If at all possible, limit your time in the sun
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat
• Wear sunglasses that filter 99% of UV rays

“Don’t forget about children,” Dr. Tarbell said. “Children are especially susceptible to eye damage from the sun. The lenses in their eyes do not block as much UV radiation as in adults. Follow the same precautions as you would for an adult, but be sure to choose sunglasses that fit their smaller faces, have impact-resistant lenses, and have lenses large enough to shield the entire eye.”

Dr. Tarbell is the owner and practitioner of Advanced Eyecare & Vision Gallery located at 305 Omni Drive in Hillsborough and is a member of Vision Source.