Protection from Summer Eye Injuries

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Do you wear sunglasses to shade your eyes or to protect them from the sun?

Dr. David Boothe, an Opthalmologist with Covenant Health Partners, says the difference is significant. Because, for true protection from the sun, you need to know that your sunglasses were made with a certain level of UV or ultraviolet protection.

"The UV 400 is the only thing that matters. The color doesn't matter. The price doesn't matter," Boothe said. "Nothing matters except that you have the UV 400 protection.  No amount of money will substitute."

Boothe adds that unfortunately, a lot of people are fooled by the polarization that is stamped onto some sunglasses. He says yes, that can help reduce glare, particularly if you're around water, but polarization has nothing to do with protecting the eyes from UV sun damage.

Boothe said eye injuries increase during the summer for a lot of reasons. Kids are home from school and more likely to get into household cleaners. People are doing yard work without protecting their eyes.

He said that is a major concern because mowing or edging can propel a foreign object into the eye at high speeds. Anything from an insect to a piece of grass to a rock has the potential to be thrown into the eye and trigger an eye injury. And any eye injury can cause long term damage.

Your best protection while working with any machinery in the yard – protective eyewear.

"It's hard to emphasize how important that is," Boothe said. "Admittedly, it's not common, but if it's you. It's a 100 percent of that eye."

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