The Eyes Can Get It
Most people are aware of warnings concerning the need to cover up and/or to generously apply sunscreen to protect skin from the harmful effects of exposure to the summer sun. Most of us are probably no aware of the need to wear sunglasses and to wear hats to protect our eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet sun rays.
A 2009 survey done by the American Optometric Association found that one in three U.S. adults were unaware of the harmful effects on the eyes of spending too much time in the sun without protection. Only 29% or parents reported that they made sure that their children wore sunglasses for protection when they were out in the sun.
A report released in March, 2011 by Prevent Blindness America, a leading eye health and safety organization, stated that cumulative exposure to UV light can contribute to significant eye damage. This damage can include the development of cataracts, macular degeneration and a condition known as Pterygium, which is a tissue growth over the white part of the eye surface that causes astigmatism.
To read more on this overlooked risk readers should go to http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110614/LIFE01/106140304/Don-t-blind-sun-s-effects-eyes (article reprinted in USA Today on June 9, 2011).