Summer’s here, and that means appropriate protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays – protection for the eyes.

Most sun worshippers know they need to protect their skin with a good sunscreen. What many forget is that eye exposure to UV light on a prolonged basis can have detrimental effects.

“Cataracts can form faster and earlier,” explained Dr. Mary Boname, owner of Montgomery Eye Care “It can also lead to macular degeneration, as well as skin cancers on the eyelid.”

According to Dr. Boname, everyone needs to protect his or her eyes from the sun’s harming rays. Those who are fair-skinned with blue or green eyes are especially vulnerable. Without protection, the free radicals released by sunlight can cause damage to the ocular tissue, and can even result in keratitis, a sunburn on the eye.

“Sunglasses are a great defense,” said Dr. Boname. “However, cheap sunglasses won’t do it. Your sunglasses need to have a good UV filter so they filter the 400 nm wavelength that’s most damaging. Also, cheap plastic lenses can distort over time, making your vision worse. Investing in good sunglasses is important.”

Montgomery Eye Care sells and fits prescription and non-prescription sunglasses in a variety of sizes, styles and price ranges. Maui Jim, for example, has an anti-reflective filter on the front and back surface of the lens and is polarized. This reduces the glare and makes things less bright.

Other popular brands include Kate Spade, Fendi, Gucci, Ray-Ban and the brand-new Nina Ricci Jackie O Sunglasses, inspired by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

“We fit every pair of sunglasses we sell,” noted Dr. Boname. “Fit is incredibly important, and helps make sure the frame you like does its job.”

Dr. Boname also has eye health and fitness advice for contact lens wearers: use according to the instructions. She sees a lot of cases of conjunctivitis from those who don’t take their lenses out before swimming, or who don’t use lens solution properly. She says it’s important to use fresh solution everyday, and to clean and air-dry the case each day.

“Those taking part in competitive outdoor sports such as golf, biking or tennis, and serious athletes, should look into prescription goggles,” she added. “They’re comfortable and lightweight, and don’t interfere with their game.”

Montgomery Eye Care is open Monday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours around holidays may vary, and are posted on the door. Or, call 609-279-0005 for information.

Montgomery Eye Care. Montgomery Center, 1325 Route 206, Suite 24, Skillman. 609-279-0005. info@mecnj.com.

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