Today’s post is particularly important to me because just within the last month both my mother-in-law AND my father have had to have skin cancers removed from around their eyes. My mother-in-laws was above her eye, on the lid, my father’s was directly below his eye. I personally have also had to have a skin cancer removed a couple of years ago. Mine was just to the side of my mouth. Luckily they were all detected EARLY…but it’s still pretty scary when you think about it.
We just cannot be too careful when it comes to sun exposure! Especially when it involves something as important and sensitive as our eyes!
Now that we are smack dab in the middle of summer and people are spending lots of times outdoors recreating, gardening, vacationing, etc., I think it’s the perfect time for some pointers on staying safe in the sun:
- Buy sunglasses that will protect you from 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. UV-A and B rays actually penetrate the cornea and damage the lens and retina, leading to increased risk for cataract and macular degeneration.
- Remember that direct sunlight isn’t the only threat to your eyes. Reflected UV rays can also be harmful. Sand reflects about 15 percent; and sea foam about 25 percent. And, because you’re more likely to look down than up, more UV light is reflected directly into your eyes. Hats with brims offer no protection from reflected UV rays.
- Sport larger shades. When it comes to UV defense, think big.
- Don’t be deceived by a cloudy day. On overcast days, UV can still reach your eyes and do harm. Wear your shades even when it’s cloudy
- Have an emergency back-up pair of sunglasses handy. You never know when your glasses will get lost or broken. Having a second pair just in case will keep you from being stranded without proper eye protection.
- Wear a large sun hat or visor. While glasses are a great first step, a wide brimmed hat will provide the additional protection you need to shade your eyes from the sun’s rays.
- Moisturize…your eyes. During summer our eyes can easily dry out, just like our skin. Using lubricating drops can help to maintain moisture and keep your eyes comfortable. You can purchase individual vials to keep in your first aid kit. Perfect for those windy days at the beach when sand blows in your eye.
- Stay hydrated. It’s important to keep your eyes hydrated. Drink a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to prevent dehydrated eyes and skin.
- Avoid the midday sun. Stay inside, when possible, in the late morning and early afternoon when the strength of the sun and ultraviolet radiation exposure are at their peak.
- Use eye protection while swimming. In hot weather, the incidence of skin infection in swimming pools rises. To counteract this, pool operators increase the levels of chlorine, which can lead to eye irritation. This problem can be avoided by wearing goggles in the pool. It’s also a good idea to rinse your eyes with fresh water as soon as you get out of the pool.
- Those who wear contact lenses with UV protection still need to wear sunglasses to protect areas not covered by their lenses.
Finally, you don’t have to buy $100+ sunglasses to protect your eyes. As a matter of fact, a high price tag is not a guarantee of high quality and protection.
For example, these sunglasses that all my kids are into right now called Kameleonz, are just $19.99. All Kameleonz have UV 400 protection, the highest level of protection your lens can have. (For those of you who like the scientific explanation…like me: UV 400 blocks all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. This covers ALL of UVA and UVB rays.)
Beyond their awesome protection capabilities…they are also very cool! :-) I know that doesn’t say a lot coming from ME….lol….but my kids inform me I’m right on this one. What I really like about them is that they come with detachable side arms that you can mix and match with your sunglasses to compliment your outfit or your mood! Sensible AND fashionable. I’m down with that. ;-)
The regular price for a pair of Kameleonz with 3 sets of side arms (that’s 27 possible color combos folks!) is $19.99. But because you are all my friends (and Kameleonz is owned by friends of my business partner Scott,) you can get them for only $13.99 when you use the promo code JILLEE. :-)
AND ONE FINAL PLEA TODAY………as you slather on sunscreen to protect your skin this summer, don’t forget to protect YOUR EYES too! Please. :-)