Summer is finally here. For most people, this means extended time under the bright, hot sun, which leads to more exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. According to the National Eye Institute, most people are aware of the damages UV rays can cause on their skin, but only some are aware of how UV rays can harm their eyes. Protecting your eyes from UV rays is essential in maintaining eye health and safety. If you want to know more about the importance of UV eye protection, here’s what you need to know.
Recent studies show that excessive exposure to UV rays is a potent risk factor in the occurrence of ocular melanoma. If you have light-colored eyes, your risk of developing this type of eye cancer is higher than those with dark-colored eyes. That is why eye doctors tirelessly remind their patients to wear UV-protective eyewear.
UV eye protection can also cause temporary eye issues such as photokeratitis (inflammation of the cornea) and photoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva). These eye issues can develop after a high level of exposure to UV rays that reflect from surfaces of water, snow, sand, concrete, or ice. Temporary blindness can occur in these eye conditions.
When you protect your eyes from UV exposure with UV-protective eyewear, you delay the onset or worsening of crow’s feet and fine lines around your eyes. Establishing the habit of wearing proper sunglasses helps keep you young and also prevents skin cancer around the eyes.
With proper UV eye protection, you can also shield your eyes from debris, strong winds, sand, and dust.
Eye specialists encourage their patients to protect their eyes from the UV rays. Each time you step out into the sun without UV eye protection, you increase your risk of developing the following long-term eye conditions:
Cataracts. While a cataract may take years to manifest, keeping UV rays from penetrating your eyes can delay its onset.
Pterygium. Although benign, pterygium can cause redness and irritation. It may even disrupt your vision. You can get this if you stay under intense sunlight for hours every day without UV eye protection.
Macular degeneration. UV rays can reach the back of your eyes and cause damage to the macula of your retina. This eye problem causes difficulty in recognizing faces or seeing objects clearly.
Eye care providers always emphasize that clouds cannot filter out UV rays. UV rays still penetrate them. Your eyes are not safe from UV rays when it gets a little cloudy out, so it’s always best to wear UV-protective eyewear all the time.
UV eye protection is crucial in keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Here at Wear Eyewear, we are always ready to provide quality UV-protective eyewear. We also take time to give tips on how to protect your eyes during these hot months. Please visit our clinics in Chicago and Orland Park, Illinois, for a walk-in consultation. You can also call us at 312-626-0036 (Chicago) or 708-349-9327 (Orland Park). That way, we can help you set an appointment or answer any questions about UV eye protection.