Summer’s in full force. It’s hot, humid, and full of fun. But it’s also full of potential dangers that few people take the time to understand. Sunburns are bad, and light can reflect off sand, water, and other surfaces and cause more troubles. Studies show that eyes can sunburn in just a few hours of intense sun and UV exposure, causing temporary blindness and long-term vision concerns.
A less obvious danger that comes with extended time in the sun is blue light. The sun is the most powerful source of blue light, and the specific wavelength has been shown to cause oxidation and damage to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells and photoreceptors with repeated, lengthy exposure. With July being UV Safety Month, it’s necessary to stress to your patients the importance of protecting eyes and body from over-exposure to harmful light waves.
The best approach is a comprehensive protection plan that includes a bit of all the following:
Hats provide mobile shade that keeps the sun from getting to the eyes. Wide-brimmed hats provide the most protection by casting the most shade. But because the sun can reflect off so many surfaces, it is important for patients to wear protective eye wear, as well. Here are a few options for patients to try.
Baseball caps don’t have a “wide brim” ideal for protection, but they get the job done.
Floppy hats and bucket hats are very in right now, so your patients can look stylish while protecting their vision.
Cowboy and safari hats are not for everyone, but also work well to block the sun.
Patients can go all out with a derby hat for suave shade.
Sunglasses are a regular staple in summer apparel, but they are also necessary in protecting eyes against UV and blue light damage. Encourage patients to purchase sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays and to try and wear them every time they go outside. Plus, they come in a variety of styles to fit everyone’s personal look. So really, it’s a win-win.
Blue Light Lenses
Most sunglasses don’t protect against blue light, too, but patients can purchase blue light lenses that block UV. These can come in sunglass tinted and regular glasses, and patients can purchase filters for their corrective lenses that work the same way. These lenses are great for immediate protection against blue light, but patients should be instructed to build up their eyes’ natural protection against this wavelength.
Macular pigment is the eye’s natural defense against oxidation and damage caused by blue light. Over time, macular pigment can thin and become less effective, but patients can help protect against this diminishing protection with improved nutrition by eating things like peppers, eggs, spinach and broccoli.
Though eating eye-healthy foods can help, they hardly have the amount of nutrients needed to enhance macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Prescribing an eye health nutraceutical proven to increase MPOD can protect patients’ eyes better than nutritional changes alone. EyePromise is the only line of nutraceuticals guaranteed to increase MPOD in 6 months if the patient diligently takes their prescribed softgels.
Click here to read Dr. John Herman’s study that reviews the changes in MPOD in 521 subjects with EyePromise supplementation over 2 years.
Observing UV Safety Month can help protect your patients eye health throughout the summer months without ruining their summer fun. For more information on blue light and how it can affect the body, sign up for the Blue Light Whitepaper Series.