Beware of What you Cannot See

Eye Care

May 14, 2020

Most people think that proper eye care consists of visiting an eye doctor. Taking good care of your eyes is up you.

“Even short-term effect of over UV exposure can cause a ‘sunburn’ of the eyes. Symptoms are pain, tearing or blurred vision,” says Dr. Maria Sirounis Sirmis, a Toronto optometrist.

UV-A rays hurt the central vision by damaging the retina at the back of the eye causing macular degeneration. UV-B is what gives you the burn and affects the cornea and lens by absorbing most of these rays, causing more damage than UV-A rays. “Even though we can not see UV light, it is absorbed into the eye and is cumulative, causing long term problems,” explains Maria. “We use sunscreen to protect our skin and must wear sunglasses to protect our eyes. When you are on the water you receive direct UV rays from above and ones that are reflected off the water.”

Reading a Chart with SunglassesReading a chart and plotting a course is much easier with sunglasses.

The bigger and/or more wrap-around the frame, the more protection you have. Look for 100% UV protection sunglasses. Dr. Sirounis Sirmis stresses, “Children are at much greater risk of UV damage because their pupils are larger than adults and their crystalline lens is clearer, so they do not filter UV as well as adults. Studies show that you get 80% of your cumulative lifetime UV dose by the age of 18.”

Polarized glasses reduce the glare off the water and allow you to better see rocks, shoals or debris just below the surface. Unfortunately the LCD electronic screens on the boat are also polarized. If you lean over the screen, it often becomes black.

Cloudy DayKatherine Stone did extensive research for this feature:

Note: If you are a CY subscriber, you already have your May issue please see the complete special feature on Page 10 with more important information (or subscribe to get the digital edition here)

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