You’ve probably heard about the dangers of UV ray exposure and skin, including premature aging, sun spots, and a heightened risk of certain cancers. However, it’s equally important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Mountain View Eye Center in Fairbanks, AK, is home to the area’s best optometrists. Here, their team of eye specialists explains the dangers of UV rays and how you can protect yourself.
How Does UV Exposure Affect Your Eyes?
The two main types of ultraviolet rays are UV-A and UV-B, both of which can harm your eyes. UV-A affect the retina, while UV-B is typically absorbed by the lens and cornea. UV rays are particularly dangerous during the summer, when the sun shines brightest and for more extended periods. However, the risk doesn’t dissipate in the winter, when rays can reflect off of snow. UV-B radiation causes sunburn and snow blindness as it is absorbed by the cornea. UV-A radiation, however, is most damaging to the eye, because it transmits absorbed radiation to the lens.
Studies show exposure to either type of UV rays causes numerous eye diseases and issues, including cataracts, or a clouding of the lens that impedes sight. Exposure can also increase the risk of macular degeneration, a common disease which causes loss of vision. If you work outdoors without UV protection, you may also develop a pterygium, or growth, on the eyeball membrane. If untreated, the growth can become more prominent and impair your vision.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Sunglasses or Transitions® lenses are the best way to protect your eyes from UV exposure. UV-protective glasses absorb the rays, preventing them from reaching your eyes. Keep in mind not all sunglasses offer adequate UV protection. Choose a pair that can absorb 99% of rays. Prescription lenses from an eye specialist are UV rated, but your eye doctor may recommend choosing a wraparound frame for further protection. Wide-brimmed hats can also enhance protection when used with sunglasses.
Protect your vision year-round with prescription glasses from Fairbanks’ most trusted eye specialists. The team at Mountain View Eye Center offers a broad range of services for the whole family. In addition to their dedication to customer care, they stay on top of the latest medical innovations and technologies to ensure their patients receive the best available treatments. Call (907) 328-2920 to schedule an appointment. Or, visit their website to browse their inventory of prescription eyeglasses.