(CNN) - A majority of Americans don't have all the facts when it comes to protecting their eyes from ultraviolet rays, according to a recent poll from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
It shows many people are unaware that certain things can cause people to be more susceptible to UV damage, including some medications and having a light eye color like blue, green or hazel.
Knowing the facts is important to prevent the cumulative effects, say doctors.
Tumors can develop on the surface of the eye, which can be cancerous.
“You can get skin cancers and skin growths on your eyelids just like other areas of skin and internally, you can get issues that are related to, excess amounts of sun and UV light,” said Dr. Alan Kozarsky, an ophthalmologist. .
Those issues include macular degeneration, central vision loss or cataracts.
The academy says there are steps you can take right now for protection.
First, wear your sunglasses. Look for ones labeled 100 percent UV protection, meaning they protect against UVA and UVB rays. They may also say UV 400.
And wear them even if it's cloudy. Also put on a wide-brimmed hat.
Don't use contact lenses as a substitute for protecting the entire eye.
And finally, remember, kids need protection, too.
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