Importance of UV Protection for the Eyes

Sunlight is the main cause of ultraviolet light, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation. UV rays are not friendly to people since they cause premature aging, skin cancer, and vision problems. It is very important to shield yourself from UV rays especially during summer when the sun is at its peak. The eyes are at a high risk of exposure and damage from UV rays.

There are two types of dangerous UV rays. UVA rays cause damage to the central vision. UVB causes damage to the lens and corneas located at the front of the eye. Always wear UV-blocking sunglasses when going outside. A wide-brimmed hat is also a good addition for summer. Make sure that your choice of sunglasses filters out 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Here is why you should protect your eyes from UV rays.


UV Exposure Can Cause Cataracts


Cataracts are a major cause of permanent blindness across the world. Exposure to UV rays for an extended period can result in eye cataracts. The protein in the eyes thickens and clump together to protect the eye. This thickening forms a cloudy film around the lens leading to vision loss. UV sunglasses are important especially when walking outside in the summer.


UV Rays Can Cause Corneal Sunburn


Corneal sunburn is a painful eye condition, otherwise known as photokeratitis. It happens when UV waves from the hot sun temporarily damage the cornea. This is likely to happen when the eyes are exposed to highly reflective material such as snow, water, or staring directly at an eclipse. You should always protect your eyes at the beach, on the ice, and even on a desert safari.


UV Rays Cause Cancer


The depletion of the ozone layer has allowed more UV rays to reach the earth. At 20 years of age, a person has already depleted 80 percent of the UV radiation that they should handle in their whole lifetime. That is why skin cancer is one of the most common cancers across the globe. It is common to see patients with cancerous skin around the eyes due to UV rays exposure.


UV Glare Causes Macular Degeneration

That feeling you get when you go outside on a hot day, then see darkness when you get back inside is not good for your eyes. UV rays can affect your eyes in such a way that you have blurry vision. You see halos and you cannot read a page in low light. You also start seeing straight printed lines as wavy. This condition is called macular degeneration and it gets worse as you age.


UV Exposure Causes Pterygium


Pterygium is an eye condition that starts with an unusual thickening and redness at the corner of the eye. The patient has blurred vision, eyes feel gritty, dry, and red. Sometimes, you notice a small growth starting from the corner of your eye and growing toward the center of the eye. It is important to put on close-fitting UV-blocking sunglasses to avoid blindness from this.


For more information on eye care and how to avoid UV exposure, visit El Paso Eyecare at our offices in El Paso, Texas. You can also call 915-745-7960 to book an appointment today.