Protect Your Eyes

How To Protect Your Eyes

Sun Damage of the Eye

Eyelid skin cancers account for 5-10% of all skin cancers

At least 10% of cataract cases are attributable to UV exposure

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UV radiation (both UVA and UVB) from the sun reaches you by invisible wavelengths, producing DNA changes leading to skin cancers on the eyelids and premature aging of the delicate skin around your eyes.



  • Wear sunglasses year-round whenever you are out in the sun. Sun damage to the eyes can occur any time of year.
  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim and tightly woven fabric (no holes) to protect your face and the top of your head. Hats can block as much as half of all UV rays from your eyes and eyelids.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, to protect yourself when you need to take off your shades.
  • Be aware of clouds: the sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds, so eye protection is important even when there is cloud cover.
  • Take extra care near water, snow and sand: 80 percent or more of the sun’s rays reflect off of these surfaces, so they hit your eyes and skin a second time.
  • Be altitude-aware: UV intensity increases with altitude; protect your eyes when in higher altitudes.
  • Seek shade during times when the sun is most intense

If you are experiencing problems with your eyes or eyelids, visit your physician or eye doctor.