How to Protect Your Child's Eyes from Sun Damage
Posted on 13 May 2014
Children's eyes are more susceptible to long-term sun damage than adults
Children's eyes are still developing, and according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), children's eyes are more vulnerable because the lenses on their eyes are thinner. Due to the thinness of the lens, more UV rays hit the retinas and allow more UV rays to damage children's eyes. Even the most attentive parents sometimes forget to bring along a pair of sunglasses for their child. Let's take a look at some of the precautionary measures to protect your child's eyes. Adults should follow these steps to protecting their eyes too!
How to Prevent Sun Damage to Your Eyes
Always Wear Sunglasses
This may seem obvious, but people sometimes forget sunglasses aren't just for fashion. Purchasing a good pair of sunglasses for you and your children is important to your eye health. So, what kind of sunglasses are we talking about here?
Finding sunglasses with polarized lenses are the best bet for you and your family. Polarized lenses reduce glare and provide an optimal visual experience, limiting the amount of strain your eyes endure. Typically, polarized lenses also feature 100% UV protection, which limits the amount of UV rays that enter your eyes and reduces the risk of sun damage to your eyes. While you might have to spend a little more on sunglasses, it'll definitely be worth the investment for you and your children's eyes.
Don't compromise comfort! Make sure your children like to wear the sunglasses they choose. While having polarized lenses is important, it won't make much difference if your children complain about the fit and don't wear them. Be sure to have your children try-on different pairs of sunglasses that feel comfortable and provide 100% UV protection. So, they choose the perfect shades that they think are cool and that can fully protect their eyes. Plus, as children grow you may need to purchase new sunglasses that comfortably fit their faces.
Visit the Optometrist
If you're worried about your family's eye health, visit your local optometrist to ensure their eyes are not seriously damaged. The eye doctor can easily detect, diagnose and treat any serious deterioration to your eyes. It is recommended that you visit your optometrist at least once a year to keep your vision and eyes healthy. This especially goes for children!
Can Sun Damage to the Eyes be Reversed?
Unfortunately long-term sun damage to the eyes cannot be reversed. Prolonged sun damage to the eyes can result in cataracts, pterygia, pingueculae and macular degeneration. Treating these conditions with your ophthalmologist can progressively slow further deterioration and can relieve some symptoms; yet these conditions cannot be reversed or completely cured. This is why it is so important to teach your children to be conscious of their eyes. Many children will acquire 80% of their long-term UV exposure by the time they're 18 because of all the sun exposure they experienced in childhood.
It's time for parents and kids to be smart about sun exposure! Have any tips on choosing children's sunglasses? Share your thoughts and leave a comment!