I have previously written about UV exposure and the damages the sun can have on the eyes. I would like to take the chance to send out a reminder on how we can protect ourselves from the sun. As we hopefully approach a warmer Spring season I want to take the opportunity to give some tips on maintaining good eye health during outdoor activities.

First let me go over the basic science of the sunís rays. The sun gives off visible light along with ultraviolet radiation. The ultra violet radiation is what makes the sky appear blue. Ultraviolet radiation can be broke down into UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. The earthís ozone layer absorbs UV-C radiation, leaving sunglass to protect against A and B.

Studies indicate that long-term exposure to UV-A and UV-B can contribute to the development of cataracts, retinal problems, benign growths on the surface of the eye, cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes, and sunburn on the surface of the eye.

The best protection against the sunís damaging rays is consistent use of sunglasses. Use the following tips when selecting your next pair of sunglasses. For optimum sun protection, the sunglasses should:

Block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation

Screen out 75-90 percent of visible light

Have gray, or brown lenses

Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to the sunís damaging rays because they typically spend more time outdoors than adults and the lenses of their eyes are more transparent than those of adults. This allows more UV radiation to reach the back of the eye in younger individuals. The effects of UV radiation are cumulative, so itís important to develop good protection habits early in life.

Even though getting kids to wear sunglasses is a challenge it will go a long way to protecting their sight in the future. Wearing a cap or hat that is able block direct sunlight into the eyes can be useful also.

For more information, see Dr. Moore, O.D. at Moore Eye Center across from Town and Country Bank on Harbin Street in Stephenville. Call 254-968-2345 or visit us on the web at www.mooreeye.net www.mooreeye.net. (Paid advertorial.)