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Summer is fast approaching.  Increased outdoor activities means extra strain and potential damage to our eyes.  Although we should protect our eyes all year round, here are some tips to ensure healthy happy eyes all summer.

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays contributes to the development of superficial growths, Cataracts, and Macular Degeneration.  Ideal sunglasses should wrap to your face.  This minimizes the amount of peripheral light reaching the ocular surface.  The lenses should be UV blocking.  On non-prescription lenses look for UV A, B and C blocking technology.  Polarized lenses will block an additional 50% of light. Top all this off with anti-reflective and mirror coatings and you are reducing harmful light by another 30%.  

You can customize your sun wear further by selecting certain lens tints to match your activities.  Technologies exist to enhance your visual performance for golfing, biking, trail riding and fishing.  Golfing lenses increase the number of shades of green you see allowing you to read the green better.  Biking lenses are designed to enhance your contrast so you can see subtle changes in the terrain like cracks, bumps and dips.  Fishing lenses enhance and filter the color blue offering improved clarity on the water.  The variety of lens options come in both prescription and non-prescription.

Nearly all contact lenses have UV blocking technology.  Keep in mind only the area covered by the contact is protected from UV rays and sun glasses should be worn to protect the eyelids and additional ocular surface.  The eyelid is a common place for skin cancer to occur.  Any new or suspicious spots should be brought to the attention of your eye care specialist. 

Contact lenses are also a great addition to your summer eye wear.  Don’t want to wear your only pair of glasses while out jet skiing? Consider investing in a small package of single use daily contact lenses.  Single use lenses are now available in a wide range of parameters.  So, don’t be shy to ask your Eye Doctor about daily lens options if you wear a multifocal or astigmatism correction.  Single use lenses are also great to take on trips.  No need to carry solution and plenty of extras in case of tears.

Contact lenses may seem like a great option while enjoying water sports.  Caution should be taken when wearing contact lenses and swimming especially in fresh water.  Transfer of bacteria, other microbials and allergens occur frequently in the water.  Any contact lens wearer developing red irritated eyes days after swimming should report to an eye clinic for evaluation.  Some micro-organisms can cause serious damage to your eyes in a short period of time.  To avoid potential issues avoid wearing your contact lenses in the water.   If you cannot function with out your lenses consider wearing goggles.  

The right optical products can aid in your summer fun in the sun.  We may not think of them as anything more than accessories but the correct accessory may improve your golf game or prevent Macular Degeneration.

Brought to you by Dr. Bonnie Cameron owner of Cameron Optical in Montgomery, TX.  See our ad in this months’ issue for more details.

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