It is blazing hot across the United States and we're all spending way more time out in the sun on the tennis courts. While playing in the sun can be lots of fun, don't forget to take the necessary steps to protect your eyes from damaging exposure to ultraviolet rays. Why? Because long term exposure to UV rays can lead to macular degeneration (where light-sensing cells in the center of the eye stop working), cataracts and skin cancer around the eyes. Yikes!
So what can you do to protect your eyes out in the sun?
1. Avoid playing when UV levels are at their highest – when the sun is high in the sky, usually between 10 am and 2 pm. And be aware that cloud cover does not offer protection as UV is invisible radiation and can easily penetrate through clouds.
2. Wear sunglasses! These will filter the sun light and protect your eyes from incoming UV rays. The best sunglasses are those that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays, are impact resistant, do not distort colors and have a close-fitting, wrap-around style. Sunglasses made specifically for sports usually offer all of these features.
3. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to physically block out sun light from overhead. I personally wear a Nike cap which helps somewhat but here's the Solar Roller Hat from Zappos.com that would be even better as it provides UPF solar protection of 30+:
4. And don't forget the kids! All of your children, whether they're playing tennis, out on the golf course (my husband's dream for our kids) or just splashing around the pool, need eye protection too. Damage from UV rays is cumulative over your lifetime, so don't let your little ones go unprotected now.