baby eye care: the facts

By Scott Morris

with spring around the corner, we thought it was a great time to remind parents of the importance of protecting baby eyes from damaging uv rays. the following info comes straight from pediatricians and optomotrists, so probably worth paying attention…

pediatric optometrists warn that most of the lifetime ultraviolet (uv) damage done to a person’s eyes occurs during childhood and the risk for retinal damage from the sun’s rays is greatest in children less than 10 years old. however, the consequences usually do not become apparent until well after they are adults. this is because eye damage due to uv exposure accumulates over a lifetime and the cells of the lens of the eye cannot repair themselves and are never naturally replaced. we took our shades to leading san diego optometrist, dr. stanley mestman, here are his thoughts about baby eye protection:

“unfortunately, years ago we did not have the knowledge that we do today of the harmful affects of uv radiation on our eyes. just as sun exposure to the skin can be cumulative and cause problems later in life, so can uv exposure to the eyes. uv radiation has now been linked to the formation of cataracts, which is a clouding of the crystalline lens within the eye. it also can cause growths on the white part of the eye,which are seen frequently in surfers and others who spend a lot of time in the sun, called pingueculas and pterygiums. we now feel that there is evidence that uv exposure can increase the risk of damage to retina (the inner layer of the eye)called macular degeneration, later in life.

i have been advising my patients to wear sunglasses and to have their children use them for a number of years. my wife and i have been giving ro.sham.bo baby sunglasses to babies of our family and friends since we found out about them. these glasses, which have been tested to be 100% effective against uva and uvb radiation, help to get the children started early in the protection of their eyes….in addition, they come in many styles, and sure look cute!” – stanley mestman, o.d. (doctor of optometry)

thanks, doc!! the good doctor went on to tell us babies are at a greater risk of sun damage because they have undeveloped corneas (baby eyes have baby corneas!) and the incidence of unprotected uv exposure is greater in children. the damage that can be done early in life can culminate in severe eye problems and even blindness later in life. to help prevent these problems, doctors suggest children be taught to wear dark lens sunglasses with 100% uva and uvb protection (which our shades have, of course!!). that is why pediatrician dr. alan greene warns: “teaching your children to wear sunglasses may be more important than giving them a college fund” and why we are committed to the idea that: little people deserve big people shades.

learn more about our updated slogan: “families that shade together stay together” in our next post…