Safety Information from Via Christi

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Go easy on the eyes

From sports to outdoor fun to certain jobs, it's important to protect your peepers

About 90 percent of eye injuries in sports or other activities could be prevented with protective eyewear, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

“At least twice a week we take something out of someone’s eye that could have been prevented with safety glasses,” says Alan McCormick, OD, with Via Christi Clinic Optometry in Wichita.

Everyone also should protect their eyes from bright sunlight. Exposure to UV rays can
increase one’s risk of developing blinding eye diseases or growths and even early wrinkling of skin around the eyes because of squinting.

Pick the right protection

Ignore color and price
Lens darkness and cost aren’t nearly as important as the ability to block ultraviolet rays. Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Don’t get sideswiped
Choose sunglasses that wrap around so that harmful rays can’t enter from the side.

Top off your protection
Besides sunglasses, wear a hat to help block harmful rays.

Wear year-round
Sunglasses aren’t just for the sun or summer. Your eyes can be damaged by the sun’s rays during the winter or on hazy days.

Choose optimal lenses
Plastic lenses are less likely to shatter. Polycarbonate lenses are strong but scratch easily.

Know sport-specific standards
Anyone who wears glasses regularly should wear protective eyewear for sports. The global standard organization ASTM sets eye safety standards by individual sports.

At home and at work

Have a pair handy
The American Society of Ocular Trauma recommends that every household have a pair of approved safety eyewear on hand for work involving flying debris — as with mowers and weed eaters — and chemicals. They are readily available at hardware stores.
Look for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rating found on lenses or frames.

Check job standards
OHSA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration) sets standards for workplace safety glasses. Make sure your employer informs you how to keep your eyes protected, when applicable.

Get regular exams
To protect your vision — and your health — optometrists recommend annual exams, particularly from ages 3 to 18 and after age 40, and no less than every two years.

Don’t procrastinate
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are often agerelated, so chances to save your sight are better if those conditions are caught early




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