Everyone knows that prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your skin, but what about your eyes? Protecting your eyes from the sunlight is much more important than you think. Though the short term effects of too much sun exposure are annoying at the least, the long term effects can have serious and irreversible health consequences.

UV rays, or ultraviolet rays, from sunlight are responsible for causing damage to your eyes. In short, UV light causes ionization, breaking and forming new chemical bonds, and killing living tissue in your skin and your eyes. While different UV rays can cause different consequences, you definitely don’t want to deal with the after-affects of any UV rays. At Carson Optical, we recommend wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside, as sunglasses (especially those with UV protection!) protect your eyes from issues such as:

  • Cataracts. Roughly 10% of cataract cases are attributed to prolonged UV ray exposure, and in particular, UV-B rays. Cataracts cloud your eye’s natural lens, making it harder for your eyes to focus light and can cause severely impaired vision. In many cases, surgery is necessary to treat cataracts.

  • Cancer. It’s possible to get skin cancer on your eyelids and the skin around your eyes because of UV ray exposure. The most common type of cancer related to this is Melanoma, where in some cases, you may have to have an eyeball removed in order to treat it. Though you can get this from natural sun exposure, it’s important to watch your artificial UV ray exposure as well, as you could form skin cancer from this as well.

  • Macular Degeneration. Prolonged UV ray exposure can cause macular degeneration, or direct damage to your retina. This can cause blindness, especially as you get older. Not only can exposure to UV rays cause macular degeneration, it can put you even more at risk for it if you already have eye related conditions and issues.

  • Photokeratitis. If you are exposed to a high amount of UV rays in a short period of time, you may form photokeratitis, or corneal sunburn. This can happen if you’re at the beach, skiing, or just outside for a long period of time without the proper protection. It can be extremely painful and cause temporary blindness.

Trust Carson Optical to give you the eye care that you deserve. As a family owned and operated business, we are proud of the one-on-one service and care we provide to our patients, and the attention we give to each and everyone. We offer eyeglass exams, contacts, glaucoma and cataract testing, vision screening, glasses repairs, and much more. Visit our website to make an appointment today or call 813-681-3863.

Sources: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun