The Sun, UV Light, and Your Eyes

The Sun, UV Light, and Your Eyes

You probably hear about the importance of sunscreen for your skin all the time, especially in the summer months. But, what about your eyes? Just like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to UV damage from the sun and require daily protection. 

How UV Light Can Damage Your Eyes

Excessive UV light from the sun can damage virtually every ocular structure – even on cloudy days. So, without the proper protection, prolonged sun exposure can increase your risk of eye conditions including:

  • Eye cancers and skin cancers can spread to the inside of the eye
  • Eye growths, like pterygium
  • Corneal damage, which results in symptoms such as pain, blurred vision, redness, and extreme light sensitivity
  • Macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of vision loss over the age of 70
  • Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy
  • Snow blindness can occur from exposure to sunlight reflecting off of snow, ice, water, or sand

UV damage to the eyes is often irreversible. So, it’s crucial to properly protect your eyes whenever you’re basking in the sun. 

How To Protect Your Eyes Against UV Ray Damage

You can shield your eyes against damage from the sun without missing out on beach days and rooftop parties. Here are our best tips:

    • Wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV ray protection or UV400 coating. This means that the glasses will block out both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. 
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to further block out UV rays – especially when you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. 
    • Practice these tips even on cloudy days. UV radiation from the sun penetrates clouds and haze. 
  • Never look directly into the sun. This can cause serious damage to the retina of the eye. 
  • Know that the sun’s UV rays are more intense when they’re reflected off of snow, ice, or water. 
  • Don’t use tanning beds, which pose the same threat of UV damage as the sun. 

For trusted eye care, you can count on the team at The Eye Clinic of Florida. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!