Health Watch - The Summer 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.


Enjoying outdoor activities in the summertime requires some precautions. This week on Health Watch, we’ll discuss what you need to keep in mind before heading outdoors on a summer day. There’s one fashion accessory that should be a part of every summer outfit: a pair of sunglasses.

The surface of the eye and the cornea are vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Too much sun exposure can increase the risk for some forms of cataracts, macular degeneration or the growth of a fleshy tissue over the corneas.

That’s why Dr. V. Vinod Mootha, an ophthalmologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says adults and children should wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors for prolonged periods of time. You’re exposed to the most harmful radiation on sunny days, especially around noon, and on low-ozone days. Look for lenses that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. People who wear eyeglasses can get lenses that block ultraviolet radiation. 

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July 2010


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