While you may already know that UV rays can harm the skin with painful sunburns and prematurewrinkles, did you know that UV rays can also damage the eyes? Exposure to UVA and UVB rays can adversely affect your vision, causing both short-term and long-term problems. Below, one of our optometrists in Plano shares three things everyone needs to know about protecting their eyes from UV radiation.
3 Reasons to Protect Your Eyes This Summer
#1: Too much UV exposure can cause an “eye” sunburn.
Yes, we know that sounds a bit strange, but it’s true. If your eyes are exposed to a lot of UV radiation over a short period of time, you can experience a condition known as photokeratitis, which is similar to a “sunburn of the eye”. Symptoms include red eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing. The good news is that this condition is usually temporary and unlikely to cause permanent damage.
#2: Long-term UV exposure increases the risk for cataracts.
Scientific research shows that long-term exposure to UV radiation increases the risk for developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina. Additionally, chronic exposure to shorter visible light wavelengths (e.g., blue and violet) can also harm the retina. That’s why our optometrists in Celina and Plano recommends wearing sunglasses every day – even in the winter.
#3: UV sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
Yes, it’s worth investing in great sunglasses that offer UV radiation – as opposed to those less expensive pairs. UV sunglasses should screen 75 to 90 percent of visible light, be perfectly matched in color, and have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition. If you participate in contact sports, choose lenses made from polycarbonate or Trivex® material, which provide the greatest impact protection. Finally, if you spend a lot of time outside, consider wrap around frames.