Monday, April 29, 2013

Indiana Surgeon on UV Eye Protection

Indiana eye surgeon Scott Buck, M.D. commented on the need for proper UV eye protection, sunglasses and eyewear. “May has been designated as UV Eye Protection Awareness Month so it’s a good time to remind patients to consider UV protective eyewear and general precautions people should take to avoid UV eye injury and sun damage,” commented Dr. Scott Buck of Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN. “The summer months are a great time to be outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming in Lake Michigan-going to the dunes-and just enjoying our community. But, with more exposure to the sun and ultraviolet or UV rays on a daily basis, we need to be reminded to use proper UV eye protection”, remarked Dr. Buck. 

Almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and UV radiation can cause to their skin. But, many patients do not know or appreciate that UV can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataract, age related macular degeneration (AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea. 

Some precautions regarding UV eye protection include: 
  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays. 
  • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it. 
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles. 
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take. 
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids. 
Today we have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses. 

Patients visiting Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center can speak with our staff who will be able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe. 

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN is staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. We are conveniently located for patients seeking eye care from throughout northern Indiana including La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete.