The summer provides the perfect time to play and explore outdoors. There is nothing children like more than going to the park, building sandcastles on the beach during vacation, riding their bikes, and hiking through the woods.
However, with great summer fun also comes the risks of dangerous UV rays to watch out for. In honor of Healthy Vision Month this May, here are some ways to protect your child’s eyes this summer.
Of course, the most common and effective way to protect your child’s eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays is with sunglasses. The sun has many negative effects on the eyes that sunglasses can help prevent.
About 20 percent of cataracts cases are caused by extended UV exposure, says the National Eye Institute. Cataracts are a condition that clouds the eye’s lens, leading to blurred vision. Macular degeneration results from damage to the retina, which can also be caused by overexposure to UV rays. Patients with macular degeneration lose their central vision, and the condition is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. A tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the eyeball’s curve and cause astigmatism is known as pterygium, another condition aggravated by the sun.
Adding sunglasses to your family’s list of other important protective wear this summer allows everyone to enjoy the sun in a safe, healthy way. When searching for the best pair to suit your style, look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
Some other effective ways to ensure healthy vision are as follows.
Attend Routine Eye Appointments
Even if you think your vision or your child’s vision is healthy, visit an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam to be certain. Oftentimes, vision can be improved with glasses or contact lenses, and also many common eye diseases do not have early symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how often you should come in for an eye exam.
Strive for a Healthy Lifestyle
Help your family achieve a healthy lifestyle by teaching the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods. Teach your children about the dangers of smoking and other negative habits that can further increase the risk of eye conditions. Be sure to also keep conditions like diabetes, hypertension and multiple sclerosis in check, as they can greatly impact vision.
Review Your Family History
Talk to your family members to learn if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, as these are often hereditary and can be passed down through a family. This can help you determine you and your child’s risk for developing an eye disease and allow you to talk to your doctor about your concerns early so that you can proactively watch for any symptoms or issues.
Keep these tips for healthy vision in sight for a safe, healthy and fun summer the whole family will enjoy! Speaking of summer, don’t forget that there’s still plenty of time to Pin to Win this summer with Real Kids Shades. Check out our Facebook page to learn more!