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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association


Federal government scientists are predicting near-record thinning of the ozone layer this year, meaning an increased risk of cataracts and other eye problems, skin cancer and other health effects. The amount of UV (or ultraviolet radiation) reaching the earth is expected to be between six and ten percent higher than normal across the country.

Now, more than ever, it is important to take care to:

  1. Wear sunglasses that provide the following:
    • proper UV protection (they should block out 99 to 100 % of both UV-A and UV-B);
    • lenses that are large enough to protect your eyes from light and UV;
    • lenses that are free of distortions and perfectly matched in colour;
    • comfortably fitting frames that do not block side vision.

  2. Wear sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or more, and be sure to reapply it frequently, according to directions;

  3. Spend less time in the sun at midday;

  4. Wear a hat, long sleeves and long pants along with your sunglasses when you do venture outdoors at midday.

Do not forget to wear your sunglasses on bright, cloudy days as well as sunny ones. Clouds do not block out UV radiation.

Everyone benefits from wearing UV absorbing vision protection. Protection from UV is a must if you fit into any of the following categories:

  1. You work outdoors or spend a lot of your leisure time outdoors (particularly between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM);

  2. You work or play near water, snow or sand. UV is reflected off these surfaces. Even cement reflects UV;

  3. You live at high altitudes;

  4. You are on medications or using products such as: tranquilizers, diuretics, antihypertensives, artificial sweeteners, N.S.A.I.D.s, oral contraceptives, anti-fungals, sulfa-containing drugs. Check with your optometrist, pharmacist or physician to see if the medication you take causes increased sensitivity to UV;

  5. You have fair skin and blue eyes;

  6. You have had cataracts removed from your eyes;

  7. You use sun lamps or tanning lotions;

  8. There is a history of retinal degeneration in your family.
REMEMBER: The first thing to look for in sunglasses is protection from ultraviolet light. The second is protection from glare. Be sure to ask your optometrist for the best type of lens to suit your needs.

The ABC’s of UV

UV has no value to vision and is harmful to every part of the eye that absorbs it.

UV, or ultraviolet radiation, is a part of the sun’s energy. While the sun sustains all life on earth, some forms of this energy can be harmful to life. It’s ultraviolet rays, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, can cause damage to unprotected eyes and skin.

There are three types of UV:

Don’t forget your shades in Winter!

Though many people think of sunglasses as a summer accessory, it is important for you to wear your sunglasses in winter too. Ultraviolet radiation is harmful to your eyes, no matter the time of year. In winter, UV is reflected off the snow, as well as beamed directly from the sun!

Be sure to see your optometrist once a year for a thorough eye examination. It is the best way to ensure eye and vision health, and to keep track of your UV protection needs.

Did you know....

A 1 % decrease on the ozone layer results in a 1.1 to 1.4 % increase of UV-B