Shading the Hazards

Mary Carlton
Ka Leo Contributing Writer
Ka Leo O Hawaii

Although most students know that ultraviolet (UV) light can cause skin cancer, not many realize that there is much more than your skin at stake.

Pinguela, Pterygium, Mascular degeneration and eyelid skin cancer are just a few of the complications you can develop if you do not use “Eye-Q” this school year.

Studies conducted on the effects of UV light on the human body have shown that your eyes are also in jeopardy.

However, you can easily prevent your eyes from developing complications like cataracts and other eye growths by investing in UV-absorbent sunglasses.

According to Dr. Christopher Tortora, owner and director of Hawaiian Eye Center, “In Hawaii, there is a high amount of ultraviolet radiation, especially during the summer. The simple use of sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UV light, along with the use of a brimmed hat can prevent some of the serious eye problems caused by the strong UV light.”

Here in Hawai’i, sunglasses are available virtually everywhere, and, in most cases, you can get a good pair of UV-absorbent lenses for under $10.

Higher end options such as Gucci, Guess, Prada, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger now offer sunglasses at Ala Moana, Kahala Mall, and other assorted surf shops island-wide.

When purchasing sunglasses, look for polarized lenses ? lenses designed to block horizontally polarized light. They cancel out and reduce harmful glare which can obscure vision when driving and participating in outdoor sports.

For more information see

Sun Tips:

  • Pinguela, Pterygium, Mascular degeneration and eyelid skin cancer are just some of the many skin cancers that can develop.
  • Complications like cataracts and other eye growths can be avoided by wearing sunglasses.
  • Look for polarized lenses when purchasing sunglasses.
  • Skin damage is very common in young people because they spend so much time outdoors.
  • Skin cancers occur most often in places such as the face, neck, shoulders and arms