Health Watch - The Great Outdoors: Sunglasses

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about heading into the great outdoors to enjoy springtime weather. While you’re protecting your skin from the sun, don’t forget to shade your eyes, as well.

Dr. Vinod Mootha, an ophthalmologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says both adults and children should wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors for any extended period of time. UVB radiation from the sun can be especially damaging to the cornea and the surface of the eye. Excessive exposure to this kind of solar radiation can increase the risk for eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. UVB radiation levels are higher on sunny days, around noon and on low-ozone days. Look for sunglasses that protect against UVB and UVA radiation. If you wear glasses, you can get clear lenses that offer protection against ultraviolet radiation. Then wear these glasses when you go outdoors.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in eyes.


May 2009

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