Each year 3 million people go blind from prolonged UV exposure to their eyes! We thought that might get your attention. It is a no-brainer to use sunscreen on your skin when the weather warms but what measures do you take to protect your eyes? The dangerous effects that ultraviolet (UV) rays have on the skin are common knowledge, but few are aware that there are short and long-term effects of exposure to UV rays on the eyes.
The short-term effects of excessive exposure to UV rays are generally not permanent but may be irritating and painful. The most common short-term impact of UV rays is photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is akin to having sunburn of the eye. The symptoms consist of feeling as if there is a foreign body or sandy feeling in the eyes, excessive tearing or red, itchy eyes.
Long-term exposure to harmful UV rays can be much more serious. The accumulative effects of UV rays over time include:
- Skin cancer around the eyelids
- Cataracts – a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
- Pterygium (or Surfer’s Eye) – a growth that occupies the corner of the eyes.
- Pinguecula – a yellowish, slightly raised lesion that forms on the surface tissue of the white part of your eye.
Protecting your eyes and the eyes of your family is of great importance. Tinted, polarized lenses with UV protection such as Xperio UV lenses, are imperative for protecting your eyes against harmful UV rays. Xperio UV, is actually the most superior polarized sun lens on the market. It eliminates 100% of blinding reflective glare and offers the maximum amount of UV protection available, an Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) of 50+.
In addition to polarized lenses, you should also consider wearing hats to provide shade for your eyes. If for any reason you experience extreme discomfort after a day in the sun, consult your local eye doctor. At your next Doctors Vision Center visit, ask your doctor how best to protect the health of your vision from UV Rays.