We’ve all heard that UV radiation can cause damage to our eyes, but how careful are we to prevent it from happening? Many common eye diseases are easy to avoid if you know the risks and stay aware. The good news is that it’s not expensive to protect your eyes every day — in fact, it’s very easy. Here’s what you should know about the effects of ultraviolet radiation on your eye health:
Long-term effects of ultraviolet light on the eyes:
Due to global atmospheric changes, our planet is at risk. Every day, increased levels of uv radiation affect human health. One of the main concerns scientists have is what ultraviolet light does to the eyes.
Ultraviolet light contributes to the formation of free radicals, causing permanent damage. Known eye problems include:
- Cataract formation
- Retina degeneration and damage
- Macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for the elderly
- Pterygium, a growth which begins in the white of the eye and starts to block your vision
- Skin cancer of the eyelids
- Corneal sunburn, also known as photokeratitis, a painful eye condition.
How to Prevent the Negative Effects of UV Radiation
All the risks mentioned above may sound scary, but the truth is that they are easy to avoid.
You may not be able to fix your eyes once they’re damaged. But, you can take practical steps to ensure that they stay as healthy as possible.
The key is staying conscious about what you can do to keep your eyes functioning well. Keep your eye doctor appointments, get regular check-ups, and do what you can daily.
Here are a few tips:
Use protective eyeglasses: Whether you are hitting the ski slopes in winter, or the beach in summer, always use eye protection. If buying a new pair of sunglasses, read the label. Look for labels that block 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Glasses that have UV coating are essential for preventing damage from UV rays. You can also look for “polycarbonate” or “photochromic” lenses. Your eyeglasses should reduce the glare, and not distort natural colors. When the sunlight hits water or snow, its reflection is stronger. This makes the risk of eye damage even greater, so the more light your eyeglasses block, the better.
Wear a cap or hat with a wide brim: Children and elderly folks should be especially careful about their eye health. If they aren’t used to wearing sunglasses, a hat will do the trick. A wide-brimmed cap limits the UV radiation rays up to 50 percent. A brimmed hat or cap can also limit UV rays that hit the eyes from above or around glasses. It’s an easy and inexpensive solution for daily eye care.
Avoid overexposure to sunlight:
Wherever in the world you live, avoid overexposure to the sun. Get to know the peak hours of the day, and try to stay indoors or under shady trees during this time. Increasing your time in the sun increases your risk of eye conditions, but it’s especially dangerous for people who have to work long hours outdoors. You may also be at an increased risk of eye conditions if:
- You have had eye surgery
- You are taking prescription medications. Some prescription pills, drugs, or birth control may increase your eyes’ sensitivity to the light.
If you are unsure about your personal risks, don’t panic! Get counsel from a trusted eye doctor. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of Kansas City’s leading ophthalmologists.Posted May 18, 2019 by Silverstein Eye Centers