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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Summer Eye Safety

By Roger M. Kaldawy, M.D.
Milford Franklin Eye Center
We all use sunscreen to protect our skin, but don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. Summertime means more time spent outdoors, and studies show that exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. The same risk applies when using tanning beds, so be sure to protect your eyes from indoor UV light as well. Sunlight reflected off sand and water can cause photokeratitis, the condition responsible for snow blindness, so beach- and pool-goers: Take note.
UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens.  Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers UV light can pose. By wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, you can enjoy the summer safely while lowering your risk for potentially blinding eye diseases and tumors. It is important to start wearing proper eye protection at an early age to protect your eyes from years of ultraviolet exposure.
Everyone of any age and any degree of skin pigmentation is susceptible to UV damage. Children are particularly susceptible to UV damage. People with light colored eyes may have an increased risk of certain eye diseases tied to UV exposure, including eye cancer.  Some studies show that people with certain eye diseases such as retinal dystrophy may be at greater risk for UV-related sun damage.
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens.  The lens must be clear in order to focus light properly onto the retina. Extensive exposure to the sun is one of the major reasons why we develop cataracts. Cataract surgery is by far the most common surgery performed in the United States.
According to a national Sun Safety Survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only about half of people who wear sunglasses say they check the UV rating before buying. The good news is that you can easily protect yourself. In order to be eye smart in the sun, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following:
Wear sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection”: Use only glasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays and that are labeled either UV400 or 100% UV protection.
Choose wraparound styles so that the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.
If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.
Wear a hat along with your sunglasses; broad-brimmed hats are best.
Remember the kids: It’s best to keep children out of direct sunlight during the middle of the day. Make sure they wear sunglasses and hats whenever they are in the sun.
Know that clouds don’t block UV light: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds. Sun damage to the eyes can occur any time of year, not just in summer.
Be extra careful in UV-intense conditions: Sunlight is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow.
By embracing these simple tips you and your family can enjoy the summer sun safely while protecting your vision …And if you have a cataract and it’s time for surgery, remember that new technologies exist to optimize vision and outcome: Bladeless laser cataract surgery is a major advancement in cataract treatment, is FDA approved and embraced by top ophthalmologists in the US and around the world.
At Milford Franklin Eye Center, we offer in-house optical service with the best in UV protection sun glasses.  And if you need cataract surgery, Dr. Kaldawy is proud to have been the first surgeon in the area and among the first in Massachusetts to offer bladeless laser assisted cataract surgery. We are happy to have been pioneers of this technology in our communities.  We implant high quality premium lenses, with correction for distance, near and everything in between.  Many cases of astigmatism are no longer a problem as these implants can now be offered even if you have astigmatism thanks to bladeless laser surgery. Our percentage of complications is one of the lowest in the nation and is measured by independent sources. We operate in a state-of-the-art surgery center with door to door concierge service. 100% of the surgeries are performed under topical anesthesia, so only drops, no need for shots and their risks and no need for stitches. With 16 years of established experience and thousands of procedures performed, we are happy to offer state-of-the-art medical and surgical eye care to our communities.