Importance of UV Protection for the Eyes

Summer is an excellent time for many exciting activities outside, such as beach tours, outdoor barbecues, and fishing trips. Sadly, long hours in the sun also give ultraviolet (UV) radiation the chance to harm, not just your skin, but your eyes as well.


How the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes


One of the three forms of UV light, UVC, is the highest-energy rays but does not pose a threat. The ozone layer blocks this deadly type of radiation from reaching the Earth. However, the other types of radiation that the sun emits, UVA, and UVB, are something you definitely have to worry about. UVB rays are partially blocked and can’t pass through the glass, but it can still burn your skin and eyes. UVA radiation, on the other hand, is not filtered and can even penetrate your eye’s cornea, reaching your lens and retina. This type of radiation causes the most harm to your vision health.


Here are the three reasons why UV protection for the eyes is important:


  1. Reduce the risk of painful sunburns. Overexposure to UV light over a short period can cause photokeratitis. Whether the source of UV rays is natural or artificial, photokeratitis is not fun. It is an unpleasant condition that is like having a sunburn of the eye. Besides pain and burning sensation, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as excessive tearing, extreme sensitivity to light, and a gritty feeling in your eyes.


  1. Avoid severe age-related eye problems. UV radiation can compromise your visual health in many ways. Cataracts, for example, is a significant cause of progressive visual impairment and vision loss worldwide. Studies show that exposure to UV light can put you at risk for this condition. The onset of another eye condition, macular degeneration, has also been linked to UV radiation exposure.


  1. Prevent the risk of eye cancers. Did you know that about five to 10 percent of all skin cancers occur on the eyelids? The skin surrounding your eyes is much more delicate than the rest of your face. The eyelids are so thin that proper eyewear is crucial to protect against UV radiation. Another severe eye condition that seems to be correlated to prolonged sun exposure is conjunctival cancer. It is a type of eye cancer that occurs on the surface of a person’s eye and has become increasingly common among older people.


How to Protect Your Eyes From UV Damage


Your best protection against UV radiation is wearing high-quality sunglasses outdoors. Look for eyewear that can block 100 percent UV light. If possible, opt for UV-protected sunglasses with large frames to shield the delicate skin around your eyes. Close-fitting, wraparound eyewear is a great idea too. On sunny days, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also significantly reduce UV exposure to your eyes.


Are you looking for a pair of sunglasses that can best protect you from the harmful UV rays? Visit Trinity Eye Care in Plano, Texas, today. Our team of eye specialists can help you find the right eyewear that meets your needs. Call us now at (972) 895-9260 to book an appointment.