July is UV Safety Awareness Month
When it comes to UV Safety, skin and eye protection go hand-in-hand.
July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and as you may guess sun safety is very important to our San Diego family. And as a SoCal sunglasses manufacturer, we also want to help keep our customers safe! We all love warm sunny days at the beach, but remember to take care of your skin and eyes (and those little ones too)!
By learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions to protect your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the sun and outdoors safely.
The Risks of UV Rays
According to the American Cancer Society, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the root cause of most skin cancers and aging of the skin. While at the same time, too much exposure to UV light also raises the risks of eye diseases and damage, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The sun emits radiation known as UVA and UVB rays. Both types can damage your eyes and skin.
Children run an increased risk of UV damage to their eyes because their lens is still clear and the pupil is wider than in adults. As much as 50% of lifetime UV damage to your eyes occurs before the age of 10 and is irreversible - causing terrible long-term conditions!
What is Ultra Violet light?
Ultra violet (UV) light is invisible rays (100 - 400 nanometers) that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the skin and eyes and cause different types of cancer and long-term ailments. While it may seem like a sunburn is a temporary irritation, it can leave long-lasting damage to your skin. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, “Just one blistering sunburn during childhood can double the chances of developing melanoma later in life." And the same goes for your eyes!
Can your eyes get sunburned?
The simple answer is YES! "Our skin and our eyes are organs. This makes them susceptible to the elements, which mean that like our skin, our eyes can become sunburned from prolonged exposure.” - Dr. Jennifer Tsai, O.D. (doctor of optometry)
Cataracts, or the clouding over the lens in your eye, can cloud your vision and make colors appear less pronounced. Although cataracts are primarily believed to be an age-related eye issue, about 20% of all issues come from prolonged exposure to UV light.
Macular degeneration damages the macula lutea, a little spot near the center of your retina needed for acute central vision. Because this portion of the retina holds millions of light-sensing cells, eye specialists believe that repeated exposure to damaging UV rays contributes to the growth and advancement of this devastating eye condition.
Also called corneal sunburn, this temporary condition occurs when intense exposure to UV rays burns your corneas. Ouch! The cornea is the clear refracting covers that allow light to reach your eyes.
On top of making you more susceptible to UV ray damage for up to 48 hours, ultraviolet keratitis can induce blurred vision and leave you with gritty, painfully dehydrated eyes.
Prolonged, extreme exposure to UV rays is the primary reason for pterygium, a a growth of fleshy tissue that forms on the eyeball itself. It’s occasionally called “surfer’s eye” because surfers spend a lot of time in environments with a lot of moisture, and out in the sun which raises their chances of developing pterygium. Besides causing general eye distress and blurred vision, pterygium can lead to chronic eye rash and permanent disfigurement.
Regular exposure to UV rays also raises your odds of contracting cancer, either within your eye or the soft tissues that encircle and support them.
Although it is still somewhat rare, intraocular melanoma is the most familiar form of eye cancer in adults. Like melanomas that concern the skin, this potentially fatal disease is usually due to overexposure to UV radiation.
Conjunctival cancers, which impact the lining behind your eyelid, are also driven by routine exposure to harmful UV light. Once believed to be very rare, this type of eye cancer is increasingly familiar, particularly among ageing people.
What is Ro•sham•bo doing to protect your eyes?
All ro•sham•bo sunglasses have polarized lenses, which are great for summer eye safety. Polarized lenses reduce glare and eye strain, while still delivering 100% UVA/B/C protection. All of our lenses are TAC polarized lenses and are tested by our manufacturer and an independent lab to make sure they are compliant with all US, EU and other international UV standards to block 100% UVA/B/C rays.
We use Tri Acetate Cellulose (TAC) polarized lenses, which feature a new lens technology formulated for superior visual and polarization clarity. They have a scratch coating and block 100% harmful UV rays up to 400 nanometers.
"I have been advising my patients to wear sunglasses and to have their children use them for a number of years. My wife and I have been giving ro.sham.bo baby sunglasses to kids of our family and friends since we found out about them. These glasses, which have been tested to be 100% effective against UVA and UVB radiation, help to get the children started early in the protection of their eyes….in addition, they come in many styles, and sure look cute!" - Dr. Stanley Mestman, O.D. (doctor of optometry)
What can YOU do to protect your eyes?
1. Always have your sunnies! Make sure to wear your polarized UV-blocking sunglasses to reduce the impact of bright sunlight year round. And same goes for babies, toddlers and kids! We have all sizes so there's no excuses. :)
2. Cover Up: Wear a hat and/or other shade-protective clothing to partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and Sunglasses - for eye protection.
3. Stay in the Shade: The sun's glare is most intense at midday. Staying in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will further protect your skin. And don't be fooled by the clouds! The sun's rays can pass through the haze and clouds even on winter days.
4. Choose & Use the Right Sunscreen: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a SPF of at least 15, and should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply every two hours while in the sun, and even more often if you are sweating or swimming.