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May is Ultraviolet Light and Eye Allergy Awareness Month!

With spring officially here, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and the beach. But when you do, make sure to wear your sunglasses! Of course, natural sunlight has many healing properties, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. It is well known that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage, but it is important to know that these same rays can also be dangerous to your eyes.

There are two types of damage from sunlight: short-term and long-term. If you enjoy a long sunny day at the beach without sunglasses, you may walk away with photokeratitis, which is like a sunburn on the eye. Symptoms include redness and itchiness, burning, and a gritty sensation in the eye. Although this will go away in a day or two and rarely causes permanent damage, it can be painful. Long-term repeated exposure to UV light is much more damaging, and has been linked to an increase in the risk for macular degeneration and cataracts later in life, both of which can lead to blindness. Exposure to the sun’s rays can also lead to eye and eyelid cancer requiring surgery.

These rays are all around us, as they are reflected off water, sand, roads, and snow. So next time you’re outside, throw on a pair of sunglasses and protect your vision for years to come! Our helpful and friendly doctors at EyeCare Associates are also available to speak about additional ways to protect your eyes and combat sun exposure as part of a healthy lifestyle.

And as many of us know, spring is the worst time for seasonal allergies. Along with runny noses and sneezing fits often come itchy, irritated eyes.  But don’t worry – EyeCare Associates is here to help! Come in today to learn about the best treatment options for your eye allergies, whether it’s an over the counter supplement, prescription eye drops, or more. We’ve got you covered!