Seniors and Sun Safety
Published July 23, 2009 by Jody Guerrieri, RN. in Senior Health & Wellness
We all know the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but what about protection for our eyes?
July is UV Safety Month, and Preferred Care at Home is urging seniors to protect their eyes by wearing sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.
“Recent studies have shown that prolonged exposure to the sun’s invisible, high energy ultraviolet rays without protection may cause eye conditions that can lead to vision loss, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration,” said Jody Guerrieri. RN, Co-Founder of Preferred Care at Home. “During the summer months the level of ultraviolet radiation is three times greater than in the winter.”
Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat are the best defense system for your eyes against sunlight and harmful UV rays. To be effective, both must be worn every time you’re outside for prolonged periods of time, even when it’s overcast.
In addition to the damage caused by repeated sun exposure overtime, you need to protect your eyes from acute damage caused by a single day in the sun. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light reflected off sand, snow or pavement can burn the eye’s surface. Similar to sunburns, eye surface burns usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life.
Impaired vision is a major risk factor for many senior falls and injuries in the home. Beyond protecting eyes from UV damage outside, preventative measures taken inside can reduce these risks. Some measures include keeping rooms free of clutter, avoiding use of socks on slick floors, and using at least 100-watt light bulbs. For more preventative measures or for a free in-home safety evaluation contact Preferred Care at Home at 866-690-7733.
Eye health care is essential to senior well being. Please contact your ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat and prevent eye conditions and contact Preferred Care at Home for more tips on senior health.
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