When the weather turns warm, there are many more opportunities to be outdoors. Whether you are outside doing chores like painting and yardwork, or relaxing by fishing, golfing or sunbathing, there are some key eye protection behaviors that you should be practicing.
The most obvious eye protection you will need when you are outdoors is a good pair of sunglasses. This advice comes from the American Academy of Opthalmology which states that many people underestimate the damage that sunlight can do to the eyes. If the eyes are routinely unprotected in sunlight, they are prone to developing disorders such as cataracts ( a clouding of the lens of the eye, reducing vision) or eye growths including cancer.
Everyone engaging in outdoor sporting activites, including children, should be wearing sunglasses. Fishing, boating, skiing, golf, etc. are just a few common outdoor sports that require sunglasses. Gardeners need to wear hats and sunglasses for adequate protection. Sunbathers need not only use sunblock to protect the skin but also sunglasses to protect the eyes.
What kind of sunglasses are best? Some experts Recommend ones that block out 99% of ultraviolet radiation (UV rays.) According to the website Get Eye Smart.org experts, wraparound sunglasses are more effective in blocking the sun’s rays than are regular sunglasses. Medium darkness lenses are usually adequate for most activities but very dark lenses are recommended for bright sunlight.
There are also other potential dangers to the eyes when outdoors, some producing injuries requiring trips to the emergency room. When mowing a lawn, always be on the lookout for rocks in the grass that could fly up into the eyes. Be careful when using chemicals for power-washing the house or deck. Beware of flying paint chips when scraping paint and avoid getting the paint itself in the eyes. Woodworking can also result in eye injuries. For these activities, it is recommended that the person wear goggles- which are usually easily available at most hardware stores.
Other outdoor activities that can pose a threat to the eyes are things like champagne corks at outdoor gatherings and laser pointers being used during paintball games. These are just some of the causes of eye injuries that emergency room technicians witness.
And last, but not least….always be careful around firecrackers. A stray firecracker or sparkler may end up doing eye damage that can really put a damper on outdoor fun.
Sources: American Academy of Opthalmology.org
Sport Eye Injuries.com
National Health Institute.gov
Get Eye Smart.org