Five Things UV Rays Do To Your Eyes
Five Things UV Rays Do to Your Eyes and the One Thing You Can Do To Stop Them
UV rays are the worst, aren't they? They darken your complexion, lead to sunburn, cause photo-sensitivity and trigger premature ageing of exposed skin. Uneven complexion, age spots, moles, melanoma, skin cancer – you name it, UV rays lead to it.
Which is why you apply sunscreen before heading out in the sun, use a scarf to cover exposed areas, and take other precautions; all aimed at minimizing UV exposure on skin and preventing sun damage.
Here's a quick question though: what do you do to protect your eyes? Because continual and uninhibited UV exposure can cause vision loss, albeit temporarily.
Yes, you read that right. UV exposure is equally (if not more) harmful for your eyes, as it is for your skin.
Extended exposure is harmful for the skin of your eyelids. But that is just the beginning. Both UVA and UVB rays can damage the structure and functionality of your eyes by hurting the cornea, lenses, and other parts of your eyes. UVA and UVB rays for instance, are a known risk factor for the development of:
• Cataracts (clouding of the eye's lenses; leading cause of blindness in the world; caused primarily by UVA exposure)
• Macular degeneration. (deterioration of key parts of retina; incurable at present; one of the most common causes of blindness; caused primarily by UVB exposure)
• Pingueculae and pterygia (unwanted, unsightly growths on the eye surface, causing both functional as well as aesthetic problems of the eye; distorted vision and corneal problems; caused primarily by UVB exposure)
• Photokeratitis (painful inflammation of the cornea; equivalent to 'sunburn' of the cornea and conjunctiva; may cause vision loss lasting up to 48 hours; caused primarily by UVB exposure)
An October 2008 European research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that a different kind of ultraviolet radiations (called high-energy visible or HEV radiations) increases people's risk of retinal damage through macular degeneration. The risk is higher for people with low blood plasma levels of antioxidants such as vitamin C.
The Solution: UV-Protection Sunglasses
Quality sunglasses can block 100 percent ultraviolet radiations, including both high-energy invisible radiations (UVA and UVB) plus high-energy visible radiations (HEV), providing much-needed respite from the treacherous ultraviolet radiations of the sun.
For the times when you have to spend long hours under the sun (say when you are at the beach, or out in the snow), choose wrap-around UV protection glasses to ensure radiation entering from the sides is blocked as well. You can also opt for polarized lenses to reduce glare and improve visibility while cutting out all ultraviolet rays.
Apart from this, be sure to take the regular precautionary measures such as wearing a hat with broad brims and you will have nothing to worry about from the sun.