Keep Your Eyes Safe from the Summer Sun

We all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s UV rays, but what about our eyes?  I recently sat down with THV11’s Ashley Blackstone to discuss the best methods for protecting your eyes from sun damage while still enjoying the warm weather.

1.            Know the risk.

Recent research by the American Academy of Ophthalmology shows that UV radiation from the sun or from other sources of UV light, such as tanning beds, can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts and cancer of the eye.  It’s essential that you protect your eyes whenever you’re outdoors in the daytime, or any time you’re exposed to UV rays from other sources.

2.            Wear sunglasses.

Even if it’s partly cloudy or hazy, sunglasses should be worn whenever you are outside because the sun’s rays pass through clouds or haze.  Be sure to get sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays; they don’t have to be any certain color or cost a lot of money to protect against UV exposure, but the ones that do will say so on their packaging.  UV exposure happens year-round, so keeping your sunglasses close at hand in cold weather is also a must for healthy vision.  And your sunglasses should wrap around to your temples to provide the best protection.

3.            Don’t forget the kids.

Children’s eyes are just susceptible to UV damage as adults.  Your kids need sunglasses for going outdoors too, again with 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection. Try to minimize their exposure (and yours) between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.

4.            Watch for secondary exposure.

UV rays coming directly from the sun are an obvious threat to healthy vision, but reflected rays are just as dangerous. It’s especially important to shield your eyes when you’re in a reflective environment, like at the lake, the beach or other places where the sun’s rays reflect off of water or sand and into your eyes.

So whether you’re catching rays at the beach, picnicking with your family or simply mowing the lawn, be sure to grab a pair of sunglasses. You can still enjoy the beautiful sunlight, while making sure your eyes stay healthy as long as possible.

Tips for Keeping your Eyes Safe While at Home

The month of October is unique for many reasons: the leaves change colors, pumpkin decorations go up, and Halloween movie marathons premier every night. But did you know October is also known as Eye Injury Prevention Month?

I don’t have to tell you how important your eyes are, but so often we accidentally neglect to keep them safe from injurious situations, many of which can be found in the home. Many believe that eye injuries are most likely to happen at the work place, such as construction zones and factories.

While workplace eye protection is completely necessary, eye protection at home is just as important, because 44. 7 percent of eye injuries actually take place within the home.

Potential Situations for Eye Injury at Home

Here are a few things to pay attention on while going about your daily routine at home to keep your eyes happy and healthy:

  • Household Chemicals/Cleaners: Accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries a year.
  • Cooking with Hot Grease or Oil: These items can splatter into the eyes; so avoid being too close to your cooking pans while they’re on the stove or in the oven.
  • Home Improvement Projects: More than a third of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • Yard Work: This is a risk for both the person doing the work as well as bystanders who might get debris in their eyes. So be careful where you point the leaf blower.  You should always wear protective eye wear while performing yard work.
  • Opening a Champaign Bottle: Place a cloth or towel over the cork after removing the wire.  Keep the bottle at a 45-degree angle as you slowly and firmly twist the bottle while holding the cloth over the cork to break the seal.

Most Important Way to Prevent Eye Injury

Almost 90 percent of eye injuries could be avoided if people wore proper eye protection. Protective eyewear with “ANSI Z87.1” marked on the lens or frame is recommended for the best protection and can be easily purchased from most hardware stores.

If an eye injury does occur, it is important to follow these tips:

  • DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • DO NOT try to remove the object stuck in the eye
  • Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye
  • See any eye doctor as soon as possible

Follow these hints while at home and keep your eyes safe from injury. And pass the knowledge on to your friends as well, even if it’s not October.

Healthy Eyes are Beautiful Eyes

Many of us women will be checking out the retail shops and boutiques soon to see what’s new in this year’s fall fashion. While you’re at it, its also a good time to refresh your makeup.

Beware of Bacteria

You should throw eye makeup away after three months and use only fresh applicators when sampling makeup in the store. In fact, why chance it? I’d recommend against using store samples completely!

Apply it Correctly

Make sure your face and eyelids are clean before you apply your makeup and apply all makeup outside the lash line. For example, if you line the inside of your lash line you might actually block the oil glands of your upper and lower eyelid. And even if you end up with that tarantula look, never separate mascara clumps with sharp items! Always remove your makeup each evening by using a gentle cleanser.

Avoid Irritation and Allergic Reactions

If you are prone to allergies, introduce only one new eye product or brand at a time. If you have dry eyes, metallic or glittery eye shadow might flake off and cause irritation or infections.

What About Using Lash Lengthening Drugs Like Lattice?

There is a growing trend toward using lash-lengthening drugs like Latisse. Are they safe? Yes, but just like any drug, there are things to remember:

  • Latisse is not approved for people under the age of 18
  • It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women
  • Contact lenses must be removed before using
  • Check with your doctor first if you have an eye condition

Latisse was actually discovered when glaucoma patients were using a drug with similar ingredients. These patients found the drug lengthened and thickened their lashes. Now it’s available by prescription for cosmetic reasons. I recommend if you choose to use Latisse, do so under the supervision of your physician, so if you do experience any problems, your doctor can treat you in a timely manner.