Protect Your Eyes from UV Radiation This Summer
Ophthalmologists (eye doctors) have long cautioned people to avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Many people wonder why. UV light exposure significantly increases the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, growths, and even cancer. Excessive exposure to UV light can also be quite painful. While most diseases take years to develop, we add damage each time we’re in the sun unprotected. No matter your age or the current status of your eyesight, this is something you need to consider.
How Does UV Light Affect Your Eyesight?
Both long and short-term exposure to UV light can cause the following conditions to develop:
- Macular degeneration – Caused by damage to the retina over a prolonged period, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Extended exposure to UV radiation will increase the risk of development.
- Cataracts – Cataracts are one of the most common eye-related ailments in the country. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens – the part of the eye that focuses light. UV rays increase the risk of certain types of cataracts, and it is estimated that nearly 10% of cases develop as a result of UV exposure.
- Skin Cancer – Skin cancer in the area around the eyelids is linked to extended exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Light
Now that you understand the dangers of UV radiation, you need to know how to protect yourself. UV radiation comes not only from the sun, but also from all around us. You may experience it reflecting off the ground, water, snow, or other bright surfaces.
The best thing you can do is wear proper eye protection and headgear. If you’re going to enjoy the summer weather, find sunglasses that do the following:
- Block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation
- Screen 75 to 90 percent of light
- Preserve color recognition (gray lenses)