With hazy skies, protect your eyes

SEATTLE -- While a lot of the smoke and haze has folks coughing or irritated throats, there's one part of your body you'll want to keep in mind on these hazy and hot summer days -- your eyes.

Eye doctors say you should avoid looking directly at the sun in these periods of heavy smoke or haze.

While it's tempting to look with the bright orange and red sunrises and sunsets.  it's actually dangerous for your eyes. The warnings are similar to the solar eclipse a year ago. Because the sun isn't as bright under these conditions, we can look at the dimmer orb for much longer duration, but we really shouldn't. The sun's rays, even when obscured by smoke and haze, can be just as damaging.

That's because the problems don't come from the brightness of the sun, they come from harmful UVA and UVB rays. That ultra violet light can damage both the surface of the eye and even the back where experts say it can cause macular degeneration and perhaps cataracts.

Optometrists recommend making sure your sunglasses are rated to block both types of UV rays-- and to not look directly at the sun, no matter the conditions.