Ultraviolet light and blue light can damage your retina and may increase your chances of developing AMD or speed up progression of disease. It is extremely important to protect your eyes when you are out of doors.
- Wear a hat or visor and sunglasses whenever you are outside, even on overcast days. Ultraviolet (UV) light passes through cloud cover and is just as dangerous as direct sunlight.
- Look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB. Recent research points to blue light (the short wavelengths of the light spectrum) as an even more damaging factor. To be on the safe side, try to find glasses that guard against both UV and blue light. Some sunglasses are mislabeled, so always purchase your sunglasses from a reputable dealer. Your optician can check your glasses to measure the actual UV protection.
- The most helpful colors for blocking out blue light are red, orange, yellow and amber.
- Most glasses allow some direct sunlight to enter the eye from the top and sides of the frame. There are ‘fit over’ or ‘cocoon’ sunglasses designed specifically for AMD that include side panels and a ridge at the top so that all light is blocked. These can be worn over your prescription eyeglasses.
- You can also have your regular glasses treated with UV protection – a clear coating that will not interfere with your sight. By eliminating harmful sunrays, reducing glare, increasing contrast, and helping with the transition between light and dark surroundings, your glasses can increase your comfort and safety.