Everyone enjoys sunny days, especially those of us who have experienced a rather cold and snowy winter. Sunshine can boost our moods, and while most patients understand the importance of protecting their skin from the sun, as many as 94 percent of patients aren’t aware of the negative impact the sun’s UV rays can have on their eyes.
If the weather in your area is beginning to warm up, now’s the time to remind your patients about the ways sunlight can harm their eyes, especially if they don’t use proper protection. Whether during an exam or in your patient newsletters, below are some facts about the eyes and sun you should be sharing with your patients.
- UV damage accumulates over time. In many instances, this damage is irreversible.
- The eyes are the only internal tissue that can be directly exposed to UV rays.
- Just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean sunglasses aren’t necessary. According to an infographic shared by Essilor, 40 percent of UV exposure happens when you aren’t in full sunlight.
- Between 5 and 10 percent of skin cancer cases are found on the eyelids.
- Too much UV exposure can lead to a number of eye problems, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and non-cancerous growths on the surface of the eye, according to All About Vision.
Remind your patients of the key features they should look for when purchasing sunglasses, which include UVA and UVB protection, polarization, and proper size and fit.
In addition to protecting their eyes with sunglasses, remind patients to be consistent in scheduling routine eye exams. A comprehensive eye exam that includes optomap® ultra-widefield retinal imaging can help you see and treat more by providing a 200° view of the retina. Plus, you can show patients exactly what you’re seeing, which can be very beneficial when explaining a diagnosis. Contact us today to learn more about adding an optomap® retinal imaging device to your practice.