Ask the Doc: How can I protect my eyes from harmful UV rays?

Featured this month: Dr.Edward Hu, Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, Cataract Surgery

“Your eyes, much like your skin, are very sensitive to Ultraviolet Radiation (UV). The same sunglasses that protect your eyes from the glaring summer sun can also protect them from cataracts, vision loss and cancer. The trick is that not all sunglasses are created equal.

When shopping for sunglasses, look for 100% UVA and UVB protection. If no percentage is listed, it’s safe to assume they don’t offer full protection. Only purchase sunglasses that protect against both types of rays and here’s why: UVA rays can pass through the cornea and reach the inner parts of the eye. They’ve been linked to cataracts and macular degeneration. UVB rays, while blocked by the cornea, can still damage the surface of the eye by contributing to inflammation and abnormal growths on the cornea. They also can cause premature aging of the skin around the eyes, like wrinkles and discoloration.

The color and degree of darkness of your sunglass lenses don’t have any impact on the level of UV protection. Close-fitting wraparound styles block the most UV rays, but another important consideration is your own personal style preference.

It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, because cloud cover doesn’t stop damaging rays from reaching our eyes. In fact, ultraviolet rays are invisible, so the level of brightness is a poor indicator of safety.

Quality sunglasses are a long-term investment in your eyesight. Check out our optical boutique today for stylish and protective eyewear.” – Dr. Edward Hu

Holiday Hours

Saturday, 9/2

Peoria office open by appointment only

(Pekin & Washington are always closed on Saturdays)

Monday, 9/4

All offices closed

Tuesday, 9/5

Peoria & Pekin offices resume normal hours

Note: The Washington office will remain closed for renovations until Monday, Sept 18. 2023