Spending time in the sun helps your body to produce vitamin D, and most people are encouraged to get outside each day to spend time in nature. There are a few downsides to getting too much sun exposure, and the UV rays can also impact your eye health. Similar to your skin, the eyes are made up of tissue that absorbs UV rays. If you experience a large amount of UV ray exposure, then you could be at higher risk for developing several different eye conditions.
What Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sun Exposure?
Constant exposure to solar rays leaves you vulnerable to developing eye conditions that include cataracts, macular degeneration, and even ocular cancer. You can also create serious eye problems from even a single day of too much sun exposure.
Photokeratitis is a painful condition that is much like sunburn for the eyes. Snow skiers are prone to developing this condition since the sun’s rays tend to reflect off the surface of the ground and into the eye, even on cloudy days. This condition is usually temporary and treated by resting the eyes along with topical medications, but it further heightens the risk of developing long-term eye health issues.
What Should You Look for In Sunglasses?
Wearing sunglasses is one of the most effective ways to reduce the harmful effects of UV rays on your eyes. However, just throwing on any old pair that you can find might not be helpful. Instead, you’ll want to look for sunglasses that provide protection against 100% of UV-A and UVA-B rays. The best ophthalmologist can recommend a pair of sunglasses that also allows you to see clearly, especially if you need to wear corrective lenses. Pairing quality sunglasses with UV-ray protective contact lenses can help you double up on protection if you spend large amounts of time in the sun.
What Else Can You Do to Protect Your Vision?
While sunlight poses the most significant risk of exposing your eyes to UV rays, there are also indoor sources to watch out for. Welders should always wear special protective gear that includes helmets with UV-protective visors. Tanning salons are another hotbed for UV exposure. If you choose to tan, then make sure to cover your eyes during your session.
If you know that you’ve accumulated a large amount of sun exposure in your lifetime, or work in a career that involves UV rays indoors, then it is best to stay on top of your regular eye exams. If your eyes begin to show signs of UV ray damage, then a retinal disease specialist Brooklyn residents trust can recommend treatments that preserve your vision. For instance, thermal and micropulse therapy can aid in the treatment of macular degeneration so that you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities.
Today so much more is known about the effects of the sun on eye health. As you slather on the sunscreen, don’t forget to put on a pair of protective eyewear along with a wide-brimmed hat. If you do experience blurriness, pain, or other signs of sun damage, then schedule an eye exam right away. Often, sun damage can be treated before it leads to long-term issues that can include vision loss.