Parents generally take precautions to protect their children’s skin from the sun; it is equally important to make every effort to protect children’s eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and glare. Just as we may not see the damage to our skin for years, we also may not see the damage to our eyes for some time. But each part of the eye can be damaged by chronic or high-dose exposure to UV radiation. Even the glare of an overcast day can add to the cumulative affect. Possible effects of long-term sun exposure to the eyes include:
In fact studies conducted over the last 30 years have proven that many of the serious eye diseases associated with aging are at least partially a result of years of sun exposure. Protecting children’s eyes are especially important due to two significant factors:
The simplest and most efficient way to prevent or delay the onset of progression of various eye diseases is by using sunglasses or photochromic protective lenses designed to protect all damaging sun rays from reaching the eyes, ideally starting in early childhood. For a child who already wears corrective lenses, this can be achieved with polycarbonate photochromic lenses, which change color according to UV exposure. For a child who does not wear corrective glasses, a high quality pair of sunglasses is recommended.
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