The prospect of macular degeneration can be frightening, especially if you're genetically predisposed to it. While you can't change your genetics, there are steps you can take to reduce your overall risk of developing this disease that robs people of their sight. UV protection is the best thing you can do to lower your risk, but read on to learn how you can more thoroughly protect your eyes.
UV-Filtering Contact Lenses or Glasses
While sunglasses are a great way of protecting your eyes from the majority of UV rays that can damage them, they're not appropriate for all situations. Wearing sunglasses when there's still light in the sky but the ground level has become dark can make driving dangerous. In addition, many people don't know that UV radiation can penetrate through windows, meaning that you're not safe even if you're indoors.
The best way to protect your eyes during all hours of consciousness is to purchase a pair of UV-filtering contact lenses or glasses as your main prescription pair of lenses. These lenses generally have no tint to them but filter out all or nearly all UV radiation. As a result, your eyes will be protected, even when you're inside.
While UV contact lenses and glasses are a great step, it doesn't hurt to have a pair of dedicated sunglasses, too. Sunglasses tend to cover more of the eye, and they do a better job of filtering out reflected light from light-colored surfaces, like concrete and sand. You can choose a pair that can be worn with your contacts or over your glasses, or alternatively get a prescription pair of sunglasses that you can wear as an alternative to your standard spectacles. However, keep in mind that you should always look for sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection or advertise that they're rated at UV 400. Otherwise, sunglasses may not filter enough UV radiation to be protective.
Get Your Glasses Checked
Lastly, make sure to ask your eye doctor to check the UV protection on whatever lenses you have. Some studies have found that some pairs of sunglasses - even expensive ones - didn't protect their wearers from UV radiation as well as they said they would. Your doctor can use specialized equipment to determine if your glasses, sunglasses, or contacts are protecting you from UV radiation like you need them to.
If you're worried about developing macular degeneration, talk to your doctor for advice and support or click to find out more here. Your doctor can offer additional advice and medication that can help to reduce your risk, and regular screenings will help to detect macular degeneration early if you begin to develop it.