When the sun is shining bright, it takes a good pair of shades to maintain comfortable vision. But the sun’s rays can do much more harm than cause an irritating glare; UV rays can put your eyes in danger. To better illustrate the importance of wearing sunglasses and maintaining vision care, here are a few different ways that UV rays affect your eyes.
What Vision Care Problems Are Related to UV Exposure?
Located within the retina, the macula is responsible for helping your eye receive and process images, so you can see details. When this area deteriorates, partial or total vision loss can occur. Typically, this issue occurs due to age; however, exposure to UV rays can also damage the macula and cause this issue to develop, even among younger individuals.
Similar to sunburns, UV exposure can burn the corneal region of the eye and cause a condition known as photokeratitis. While this condition can usually heal on its own with rest, it often is accompanied by extreme pain and many other vision care issues—including eye redness, blurriness, increased light sensitivity, and swelling.
Cataracts occur when proteins in the lens clump together, causing a cloudy film to develop over the surface of the eye. Like macular degeneration, cataracts are commonly reported among seniors. However, they can also affect younger individuals who have prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun. Specifically, UV exposure causes oxidative stress to proteins in the eye, making them more likely to bind together.
While it may not technically be a vision concern, skin cancer is still a problem that can impact the eyes. For example, lack of SPF protection can cause cancerous growth on the eyelids or the skin around the eyes.
Also known as surfer’s eye, pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that develops on the eye due to excessive UV exposure. Typically, this growth resembles a pink, raised triangle that can stretch from the corner of the eye into the cornea. While eye doctors can treat pterygium, the condition can cause scarring that may result in permanent vision loss.
Enjoying the sunny outdoors isn’t something you have to give up just because you want to keep your eyes healthy. Instead, you can turn to Wise Vision Care for a wide range of solutions to protect and improve your sight. In addition to offering a variety of prescription glasses and contact lenses, this Elizabethtown, KY, optometrist can introduce you to many stylish sunglasses that can shield your eyes from UV rays. This vision care center also offers comprehensive eye exams to screen for vision loss and other ocular health issues, including cataracts and macular degeneration. To learn more about their services, visit this eye doctor online. For appointments, call (270) 769-3708.