Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Is The Sun Ruining My Eyesight?

Monday, 28 Jun 2010 02:33 PM


Question: I live in a state with a lot of sunshine and my friends insist I should never go outside without UV-coated sunglasses, due to the risk of eye problems later on. Is there a connection between exposure to bright sunlight and deteriorating vision?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

You are very wise to wear good eye protection. Deteriorating vision in the form of premature cataract formation as well as subtle retinal (nerve layer of the eye) damage is known to be induced by UV (ultraviolet light) exposure.

There are many investigators tying to determine what type of protection is best, and it seems every few years subtle changes in what coating is best seems to surface. I recommend polarized lenses where possible, and UV-coated lenses are the next best. Theoretically, both polarized and UV-coated lenses would be best; however, these lenses are usually too dark.

Ultraviolet light exposure is difficult to avoid in the sunlight of southern climes of the United States. Unfortunately, many of our young people are exposing themselves unnecessarily when they sunbathe and also when they use tanning lamps. Wear sun protection. It will save your vision.






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