How does Sunlight Damage the Eyes?

How To Minimize Sunlight Damage On My Eyes

The eyelids are generally designed to protect the eyes. However since the skin of the eyelids is usually thin and contains fragile tissue, UV light can be very damaging. Exposure to sunlight over time can cause many issues for the eyes such as:

  • Eye Lids and other Ocular Cancers
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Keratitis or Corneal Sunburn

UV rays are not visible to our eyes, so we don’t realize what we’re being exposed to. Even during an overcast or snowy day the sun’s UV rays can damage the eyes. Some medications such as diuretics, tetracycline and sulfa drugs can also increase your sensitivity to UV rays. Long-term exposure to UV Rays can also lead to eye disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration. So it’s best to make sure you’re always protected.

In order to help you chose the best protection lets go into more detail on what UV rays really are.

UV rays can be divided into three parts:

  • UV-C Rays: these are the highest energy rays and are mostly filtered out by the earth’s ozone layers before they reach the earth’s surface
  • UV-B Rays: these rays have a longer wavelength and are responsible for suntans and sun burns. They are also linked to skin cancer, wrinkles and premature aging.
  • UV-A Rays: these rays pass through the cornea and can damage the retina and the lens leading to some forms of cataracts.

How Do You Keep your Eyes Protected?

Wearing sunglasses, hats and contact lenses with UV protection can go a long way in keeping our eyes healthy.

When looking for sunglasses it is important to look for those that have UV protection. There are also polarized sunglasses that have an extra layer of coating to help eliminate the sun’s harmful rays and are great for those spending a lot of time outdoors.

Contact lenses with UV protection are a good option for those playing sports and can be paired with UV or polarized sunglasses.

Wearing a brimmed hat or cap can also be very helpful in limiting the UV rays that hit the eye from above or around the glasses.

Who is at risk?

Everyone (including children) are at risk for eye damage from UV radiation. Keep yourself and your children protecting by wearing the right eye wear and sun protection. Wearing sunglasses doesn’t have to be expensive. You can look great in your sunglasses and have the protection you need to keep your eyes healthy!

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