MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, but we should also protect our eyes.

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Summer can be obstacle course for your precious eyes with allergies, chemicals in pools, and the bright sunshine. It’s always a good idea to take steps to protect both yourself and loved ones.

Dr. Jeff Sanderson, an ophthalmologist for Fairview Clinics, says everyone from babies to grandparents should wear sunglasses while outside.

“Adults are more responsible about it, and kids tend not to think about it,” he said. “It’s difficult to get kids to wear glasses all the time. There are a couple of tips. You can get a strap that they can wear behind their eye. They make child-sized glasses, and you want to make sure that they are 100 percent UV protected.”

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If you don’t protect your eyes from the sun, you can develop cataracts or other problems that decrease your vision.

Beyond sun protection, sunglasses can prevent injuries.

“People are outside a lot more. They are using weed whackers and lawn mowers. I really encourage them to wear some kind of protective eyewear,” Sanderson said. “Why not have UV protection in that as well?”

Sanderson says that 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable. He added that it’s important that young athletes protect their eyes for sports with balls like golf balls, baseballs, and so on.

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You should check the label of your sunglasses or ask someone at the store for more information. A lot of sunglasses do not have UV protection built in.