Preventative steps to skin cancer

Sun Protection: Not Just For Your Skin

Spending a lot of time in the sun this summer?

If so, it’s time to protect more than just your skin. While many of us work hard to protect and improve the health of our bodies, we often forget the care required for one of our most cherished organs – our eyes. Simply going outside or looking at a computer screen for long periods of time can negatively affect our eyesight. During the summer, our eyes can be even more vulnerable, as they’re exposed to higher levels of ultraviolet light and other harmful rays from the sun for extended periods of time. The easiest way to prevent damage to the eyes is to wear protection, such as sunglasses.

Sunglasses work well to shield eyes from harmful UV rays.  Whenever spending time outdoors, even on cloudy days, it’s important to use eyewear that offers a high level of UV protection. Sunglasses or prescription eyewear that protects against the sun can usually be identified by a sticker or tag providing the level of UV protection.

One of the most common eye injuries is photokeratitis, a sunburn to the eye.  The symptoms, while temporary, are painful and can include red eyes, a gritty feeling, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Over time, exposure to the sun’s rays can also cause cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium, which can cause astigmatism.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members may be eligible to receive a discount of up to 40 percent on eye care items such as prescription sunglasses. Available for nearly any lens prescription, including bifocals and progressive lenses, prescription sunglasses are a good fit for everyone. Ask your doctor about which options may be available at your annual eye check-up.

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