Protect your Vision as much as your Skin - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription

Protect your Vision as much as your Skin

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This is the time of year when we spend a lot more time outside.  Most of us understand the need to protect our skin from the harmful effects of sun, wind, and even chemicals in the pool, which dry out and damage the skin. However, did you know these elements also can hurt your eyes?

Let's consider some of the risks:

  • Sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun (in the form of UVA and UVB rays) damages not only the skin but also structures in the eye. Wearing sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection helps to limit the damage.
  • Wind. Not only does the wind carry dust particles and other objects that can scratch your cornea, but it also depletes the eyes of tears, the natural film that helps to protect and coat the eyeball. Our here, with low humidity and high wind, it's a good idea to keep handy lubricating eye drops. But that may not be enough if you have chronically dry eyes. Then, you may need prescription medicines or procedures that your eye doctor can discuss with you.
  • Water. Too often, people spend too much time opening their eyes underwater in pools. The same chemicals that help keep the water clean can be very damaging to the eyes. So, invest in a face mask or pool goggles. That way, you can swim to your heart's content without worrying about your peepers.
  • Projectiles. High-speed objects can be flung accidentally when you're mowing the lawn. And high-speed projectiles are launched quite purposefully during baseball, softball and paintball games. Either way, everyone participating in such activities must protect their eyes. Although it may seem inconvenient, wearing appropriate eye protection during these activities is an inexpensive investment in your eye health. Most sporting goods stores sell protective eyewear that is tailored to various sporting activities.

From the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell, and this is the President's Prescription.

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