At long last, summer is finally here. We can finally put away our winter wear and enjoy the long, glorious days of basking in the sunshine. Picnics, barbeques, camping, going to the beach, or just staying home and lounging by the pool. But don’t forget that the warm sunshine we miss so much during out long, cold winter, can do much more than provide us with light, warmth and Vitamin D. The Ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun is capable of doing as much harm as good. Make sure you use sunscreen to protect yourself from getting a nasty sunburn and potential skin cancer. But remember that sunburn isn’t the only thing you have to fear from UV rays. Your eyes also need to be protected.
Buying sunglasses in February? That means that you are heading south for a winter vacation, right? Not necessarily. In fact, you may have a better reason for wearing sunglasses if you are staying here. Are you aware that the sun’s rays can affect you more in the winter than in the summer? Are you also aware that your eyes may be in danger, even on cloudy days? It may be a good time to update you on winter eye safety.
The Dangers of Ultra Violet Radiation
Over the last few weeks we have witnessed the leaves on the trees turning colour and falling, the geese gathering together and bailing out for warmer climates, an extreme drop in temperature and even the first signs of, dare I say it, snow. There is no denying it, winter is upon us once again. Time to get out the heavy coats and boots, put your winter tires on your car, and prepare for another Manitoba winter. But have you thought about including your eyes in your winter preparations? Are you aware that winter can be a dangerous season for your eyes?
The eyes have it. Colour that is. Blue, brown, green, hazel and more. But what does eye colour mean? And what determines what colour your eyes will be? Over the years there have been attempts to predict a new baby’s eye colour based on the eye colour of its parents and grandparents, but the fact is, it isn’t that simple.
What Determines Eye Colour
This week is Sun Awareness Week. Over the last few years the sun has been the subject of some pretty confusing mixed reviews: Sunlight is good for you – No! It’s bad for you. You need to get out in the sunshine – You need to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. So which is the truth? Well, actually both. Sunlight is necessary for good overall health in all living things. It warms the air and helps plants to grow, and it provides a major source of Vitamin D needed for good health in humans. But like many good things, too much of a good thing can have a negative effect. Just as too much sunshine can dry out and kill plant life, overexposure to the sun’s rays can burn and damage our skin, and also our eyes. But how does this happen?
It is very important to protect your eyes against exposure to UV radiation. But what if you wear glasses and keep misplacing your clip-on sunglasses? Or maybe you can’t find clip-ons that fit your glasses. What if you just don’t like the look of clip-on sunglasses? What do you do then? One option you could consider would be Photochromic lenses.
What are Photochromic Lenses?
With all the concern these days about Ultraviolet (UV) rays and the danger to your eyesight, the main concern people have is how to get a good pair of sunglasses. The question is, are all sunglasses created equal? The simple answer to that is no, they are not. Which leads directly to the next question, how do I find a pair that is right for me?
What to look for in a pair of sunglasses
Spring brings with it longer daylight hours and everyone loves a bright, sunny day. The positive effect of sunlight is manifold. Sunshine provides Vitamin D, which is necessary for good health, it warms the air and is very important in the growing process of plants, flowers and trees. It also is great in raising the spirits. Research has shown that sunlight improves a person’s mood and can decrease depression. Unfortunately, the effects of sunlight are not all positive. Ultraviolet light coming from the sun can damage your skin. It can also do damage to your eyesight.
What is Ultraviolet Light?
Have you ever had sore, itchy, irritated eyes? Have you experienced burning or aching sensation in your eyes? Does it happen regularly? You may want to schedule an appointment with your Optometrist because there is a good chance that you have Dry Eye Syndrome.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when your eyes aren’t getting enough lubrication to keep them clean and healthy. Your eyes need constant moisture which is provided by your tears, usually through blinking. Every time you blink, your tear glands (lacrimal glands) release fluid that is wiped across your eyeball by the inside of your eyelid. This liquid is a combination of water, oil and mucus, and its sole purpose is to moisturize and protect your eye. But sometimes your tears don’t provide enough moisture.
Winter may be here, but don’t put those sunglasses away just yet. In case you didn’t know it, winter can be just as hard, if not harder, on your eyes than summer. Just because the sun isn’t as warm on your skin, doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as harmful to both skin and eyes. Here are a few things you should know.