You probably know that it's important to put on sunscreen or long sleeves to protect your skin from the sun, but what about your eyes? Are you taking the proper precautions to protect your baby blues from the sun's harmful rays? Since excessive sun exposure can increase your risk of a number of eye diseases, from ocular melanoma to cataracts, it's important to protect your eyes. Here are a few essential steps to get you started in the right direction.
Buy UV-resistant sunglasses.
Cheap sunglasses from the drugstore may be better than nothing, but they're not the best at protecting your eyes from the sun. They often don't block UV rays effectively, and UV rays are the most harmful aspect of sun exposure. To ensure adequate protection, buy your sunglasses from your eye doctor's office -- and make sure the pair you choose blocks 100% of UV rays.
Make sure your sunglasses are big enough.
Tiny sunglasses might look cool, but they don't do as good of a job of protecting your eyes as those with bigger lenses. The small-lens styles let light shine in and reach your eyes from the sides or from below. So, opt for larger-lens styles for better protection. Aviator-style glasses are a good choice since they're in fashion and effective.
Carry your sunglasses with you.
Your sunglasses don't do you much good sitting on your nightstand. So, invest in a good case, and get into the habit of carrying them with you. This way, you'll always have them on hand when the sun comes out. You may even want to purchase a second pair to keep in your car.
Protect the skin around your eyes, too.
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, and as a result, is more prone to developing cancer. Cancer that begins in your eyelids can easily spread to or begin affecting your eyes themselves. So, make sure the sunscreen or UV-blocking makeup you use is also safe for use around your eyes. Apply it under and above your eyes for maximum protection.
In addition to following the tips above, make sure you are also visiting your eye doctor for annual checkups. This way, if you do start developing a sun-related eye condition, it will be diagnosed early. The sooner a disease is diagnosed and treated, the more effective treatment tends to be. Talk to your eye doctor for more specific tips related to avoiding sun exposure.