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Sun Protection Q&A with Dr. Gustafson

Sun Protection Q&A Q&A with Dr. Britt Gustafson

The Eye Doctors - Sun Protection Q&A treatment in Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Q: What can a person do to protect herself from sun exposure?

Dr. Gustafson: There are many things that each of us can do to protect against sun exposure. Wearing high-quality sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, using sunscreen, and avoiding the sun during the hours of 10 AM-4 PM are all ways to limit exposure to ultraviolet rays. When applying sunscreen be sure to apply liberally to skin 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours; more frequently if you are swimming. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 15 for everyday use and broad spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30 or higher for prolonged outdoor activity.

Q: What exactly are ‘Ultraviolet rays”?

Dr. Gustafson: Ultraviolet rays are emitted by the sun and are invisible to the human eye due to their shorter wavelengths. UVA accounts for 95% of the solar radiation that reaches the surface of the Earth and is present during all daylight hours year-round. UVB rays are more intense than UVA rays and their intensity varies by day and season; they are most intense between April and October and between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM.

Q: Are sunglasses an important part of a sun protection plan?

Dr. Gustafson: Absolutely – sunglasses are a critical piece of a UV protection strategy. It is important to wear sunglasses any time one is outside to protect the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes. UV exposure can cause early onset of cataracts, skin cancer of the eyelids/skin around the eye, and is a risk factor for macular degeneration.

Q: What type of sunglasses best protect from UV rays?

Dr. Gustafson: In order to best protect from UV rays, sunglasses should block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. Sunglasses should have a label that says they block 99-100% of UV light or that they absorb UV up to 400nm.

Q: Do children need to wear sunglasses?

Dr. Gustafson: Yes they do. According to the American Optometric Association, children are exposed to approximately three times more UV radiation per year than an adult and receive up to 80% of their lifetime UV exposure before the age of 20. No one is too young for sunglasses!

Q: I’ve heard of getting my skin sunburned, but can your eyes also get sunburned?

Dr. Gustafson: Yes, your eyes can get sunburned, which is known clinically as photokeratitis and commonly as “snow blindness.” This is most frequently experienced by welders, skiers, or mountain climbers. Symptoms include severe eye pain, redness, and blurry vision. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see an eye care provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment.


Call The Eye Doctors on 952-955-4427 in Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Chanhassen, Minnesota to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


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To our valued patients,

At The Eye Doctors, Inc. the health and well-being of our patients is at the core of everything that we do. In light of the rapidly changing situation and the spread of COVID-19 we made the difficult decision to close the clinic on Tuesday, March 17 th.

At this time, the Wal-Mart Vision Center remains open limited hours for urgent glasses repairs, pick-ups of existing orders and new contact lens orders. The vision center is open every day from 10 AM to 2 PM and on Tuesdays from 6 AM to 2 PM, with the hour of 6 AM to 7 AM reserved for senior citizens.

If you are experiencing an eye emergency, please call 952-955-4427 to leave a message for one of the doctors. Messages will be checked Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will re-open when it is safe to do so. We look forward to seeing you when things improve and thank you for your continued support of our practice. Please continue to our website for further information.

Dr. Melissa Viker & Dr. Britt Gustafson

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The Eye Doctors, Inc. COVID-19 Information:

Our clinic closed on March 17th and will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.  Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates.

Urgent or Emergent Eye Concerns

If you have an eye emergency, we are here to help.  Please call 952-955-4427 and one of the doctors will return your call.  The messages are monitored Monday through Saturday between 9 AM and 5 PM.  Eye emergencies include (but are not limited to): eye pain, a recent onset of redness in one or both eyes, flashes of light or sudden onset of new floaters, double vision, and sudden change/worsening of vision in one or both eyes.

Glasses and Contact Lens Orders:

The Wal-Mart Vision Center is open daily at this time from 10 AM to 2 PM and 6 AM to 2 PM on Tuesdays for limited services. The hour of 6 AM to 7 AM on Tuesdays is reserved for senior citizens.  One optician is on duty to provide urgent glasses repairs and adjustments; at this time no new orders for glasses are being accepted. Existing orders of contact lenses and glasses may be picked up from the vision center.  New orders of contact lenses can be placed in store and will be shipped to your home if we do not have the lenses in stock. Additionally, you may order contact lenses at

Contact Lens Safety

There is no evidence that contact lens wearers are at greater risk for a Corona Virus infection, per the American Optometric Association Cornea and Contact Lens Section.  Please follow the below tips:

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses
  • Avoid using contact lenses if you are ill with any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Reduce your risk for infection by avoiding sleeping, napping, swimming or showering in contact lenses
  • Replace your contact lens case every 2 months
  • Use fresh contact lens solution each time you store your lenses
  • Do not reuse single-use/daily disposable lenses