Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month brings eye protection awareness

Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month brings eye protection awareness
It's getting closer to summer. 

HERRIN, IL (KFVS) - It's getting closer to summer and along with the heat comes ultra violet rays from the sun that can not only damage your skin but also your eyes.

Prevent Blindness, a nonprofit eye health and safety group, has declared May as Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month.

UV rays from the sun can cause corneal sunburn (photokeratitis) and UV damage that has been linked to macular degeneration, cataracts, cancer and pterygium (a growth on the white part of the eye), according to the group.

While everyone is at risk of sun-related eye problems, the threat is highest among people who spend long hours in the sun; have certain retina disorders; have had cataract surgery; and are on certain medications.

Chase Rudolph an optometrist in Herrin, Illinois spoke about the best ways to protect your eyes.

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"Sunglasses that block 99 to 100 of the UV-A and UV-B rays which are the most damaging, buying them from a reputable store, is another way to ensure you are getting the best protection possible, wearing a hat outside just to block UV damage from skin and eyes as well," said Rudolph.

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