Enjoying the sun is something that is essential for our health and can be a great way to spend time with family and friends. But too much sun exposure can cause damage to our skin and eyes. When your eyes experience sun damage, you are more at risk for diseases like eye cancer or abnormal growths around your eyes. This blog will talk about how the sun can affect our eyes and ways to protect ourselves from too much sun damage.
Yes, Your Eyes Can Get Sunburned
Similar to other parts of your body, your corneas can get sunburned when you have spent too much time in the sun. A corneal sunburn can cause blurred vision, pain in your eyes, or lead to a headache. Wear sunglasses or goggles while hiking, skiing, or working outdoors.
Sunglasses will help guard the clear protective layer of your eye from UVA and UVB rays that could cause vision problems. Wearing sunglasses, even in the winter, can prevent tired eyes or eye cancer.
Cataracts develop over many many years but each time you forgo eye protection, you add to the damage that is building up to cataracts. This eye disease will cause the lens in your eyes to be cloudy or dusty and affect how you see colors.
Even in our younger years, wearing a hat and sunglasses can help prevent cataracts when we are older. Taking precautions while in the sun and visiting your optometrist regularly will help prevent the damage of cataracts.
Developing Eye Cancer
The more damage that is done to your eyes, the more likely you are to develop eye cancer. Not only can cancer develop on the cornea but it can also develop on your eyelids, in your tear ducts, or around the eye area. When your eyes experience sun damage, your eyes start to deteriorate, which will cause abnormal growth.
Not only is cancer of any kind scary and damaging to your health, it can cause your facial appearance to change. Some cancer spots are dark, some can bleed or become inflamed, and cause permanent damage to your vision.
Melanoma is the most serious cancer you can get and can cause vision blurring. This will cause damage to your vision for the rest of your life.
While there is not extensive research about macular degeneration, there are some indicators that sunlight can contribute to macular degeneration. This eye disease causes loss of vision in the center of the eye and causes blurry vision in the rest of your eyes. Having regular eye exams by a trained optometrist will help you catch any diseases or problems early. Catching problems early provides the best situation for medication or surgery to help remedy the disease.
How To Protect Your Eyes From Sun Damage
If you are going to avoid sun damage to your eyes, you need to know what steps to take when you are doing activities in the sun. Here are some tips that can help you limit the effect of UV light.
Not all sunglasses are created equal, wearing dark-colored sunglasses that fit well will help prevent light reflection from water or snow up into your eyes. Even when it is cloudy outside or during the winter, sunglasses will help prevent any UV light from damaging your sensitive areas. Purchase sunglasses from a reliable retailer that creates glasses with UV protection.
For those who wear contacts, there are UV-blocking contacts that will protect your eyes without the need to wear sunglasses on top of contacts. Adding UV protection on top of your regular prescription is offered by most opticians.
Practicing smart sun strategies is the best way to help avoid eye cancers and other vision damage. It is important to follow strategies of avoiding the sun when the UV radiation is the strongest, wearing sunscreen, paying attention to altitude, and understanding how medications affect your skin sensitivity.
Avoiding Man-Made UV Radiation
Using tanning beds, black light lamps, or working with other curing lamps can cause eye damage. If you want to lower your risk of eye cancer or cataracts avoid using tanning beds, and wear proper protection when around xenon-mercury lamps or plasma torches. When eyes experience sun damage from artificial sources, it can still cause eye diseases that are caused by natural light from the sun.