Much has been said and written about how crucial it is to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The eyes are often overlooked. It’s just as important to shield your eyes from intense sun exposure as it is to protect the skin.
Several studies have found a link between accumulated sun exposure and an increased risk of eye problems late in life. This 2003 study found a strong positive association between occupational sun exposure during the younger years and the occurrence of nuclear cataracts later in life. Eyelid cancer has also been linked to sun exposure.
It’s also possible for sun exposure to result in short-term eye damage. Common examples include photokeratitis (also known as sunburned eye) and photoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva).
Aside from direct sun exposure, reflected UV radiation is equally dangerous. Fresh snow reflects as much as 80 percent of UV radiation; sea foam 25 percent, dry sand 15 percent; and water, soil, and grass 10 percent.
Sunglasses to the rescue!
Sunglasses are your first line of defense in sun protection. But not all types of sunglasses are created equal. The ideal sunglasses for ultimate sun protection should limit exposure to no more than 1 percent of UVA and UVB rays, with the glasses blocking 99 percent of the rays. Additionally, look for wraparound glasses that completely cover the eyes and protect the sides as well. Darker lenses may be helpful for individuals who are extremely light sensitive. If sunglasses are not your thing, contact lenses offering UV protection are an excellent alternative.
Would you like to learn more how to protect your eyes from the sun? Call 847.291.6900 to set up an appointment today.