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HHS HealthBeat (July 19, 2013)

Summer sun in the eye


HHS HealthBeat: A mother and daughter wear sunglasses.

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Eye Health

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Summer sunlight can show us lots of beautiful and fun things – but it can also do us harm. At the National Institutes of Health, eye doctor Rachel Bishop says that sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can damage some tissues in the eye:

“It can lead to changes that produce a great deal of discomfort on the surface of the eye. And we understand now that it can lead to increased rates of cataract.”

Dr. Bishop recommends sunglasses marked for 99 or 100 percent protection against potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays.  Those UV rays can also raise the risk of skin cancer, so covering your eyes works like covering your skin – to give you the benefit of good times outside while reducing your risk of serious trouble later.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 19, 2013