PARISH NURSE NEWS- by Nancy Jones
Greetings in the name of our Merciful Savior, Redeemer, and Physician. I hope you are able to spend some time enjoying your family and friends, and the blessings which come to us in the summer months. This month, I would like to share with you the importance of taking care of your eyes. In the summer months we love to be outside, but this is the time that our eyes especially need protection. Be cool and wear your shades! Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. A number of scientific studies indicate that spending long hours in the sun without eye protection can damage your eyes by contributing to cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. Based on these studies, ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.’s) recommend that you wear 99 percent and higher UV (ultraviolet radiation)- absorbent sunglasses and a brimmed hat whenever you’re in the sun for long periods of time. Proper sunglasses are key to protecting your eyes from sun-related damage, and they should be worn anytime you are outdoors, particularly, *during the summer, when the level of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) is at least three times higher than during the winter; When at the beach or in the water; When participating in winter or summer sports; When using medications that can cause sensitivity to light. Give your eyes a rest! If you spend a lot of time at the computer, reading, or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. Also, take time to close your eyes and rest them. This can help reduce eyestrain. And last, make sure to get regular eye exams. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.