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HAPPY MAY! It's UV Awareness Month!

Happy May!!

Did you know that MAY is UV Awareness Month? Here is a little information about it and how you can protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays!

What is Ultraviolet Awareness Month?

Ultraviolet Awareness Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America to increase awareness of how UV rays can damage your eyes, increase your risk of cataracts and cancers of the eye especially in high-risk patients. UV protection with sunglasses is recommended in everyone, not only those that work outside, and can be preventive. 

Sunglasses should be 100% UV-absorbent for UVA and UVB or be labeled UV400. Another useful tip is wearing a brimmed hat, especially when outdoors in the sun for a prolonged period of time. Be extra cautious for children especially in mid-day and when sun is reflected off the water, snow or ice. Some people who have had cataract surgery with the newer intraocular lens implants have UV protection on their implants as well but should still wear sunglasses when outdoors.

What kind of cancers can occur in the eye or surrounding areas?

Various skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas) can occur on the eyelids, on the surface of the eye and even inside of the eye. Risk factors include prolonged sun exposure or in tanning beds, fair-skinned individuals, Caucasians, light-colored eyes, smoking and a family history.   

May 5th, 2014 is “Melanoma Monday” this year. It is a usually the first Monday of May and sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology. They also sponsor free cancer screenings in different areas of the country.  

While ocular melanoma is rare, it is the most common eye cancer in adults. Regular dilated eye exams, especially in high risk patients, can provide early diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options include observation, localized radiation therapy and surgery.

Keep your eyes protected and healthy with UV protection (like sunglasses), a healthy diet, exercise, no smoking and regular eye exams with your eye physician.

When you visit with one of our doctors - understand that we are here to share our knowledge and deliver to you the best advice on how to care for your Vision for Life!

Thanks for reading! And thank you for entrusting us with all your eyecare and eyewear needs!

You only have TWO eyes to last you a LIFETIME!


Dr. Heidi Pham-Murphy

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