May was Healthy Vision and Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month, and with the sunny summer months ahead of us, we want to continue to discuss how UV rays can be harmful and how to protect yourself from some of its negative impacts. Most people associate the negative effects of UV rays with sunburn and skin cancer, but are not as aware of the negative affect they have on your eyesight or the kinds of eye problems they can cause.
There are several different eye problems that can arise from UV rays including Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Pteryglum, Skin Cancer, and Corneal Sunburn. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization says that UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds poses a threat to healthy eyesight. How you ask? Depending on the types of UV rays, they can affect your eyesight in different ways. There are two types of UV rays- UV-A and UV-B. UV-A rays can hurt your central vision. It has a lower energy and is penetrated deep into the eye, which may injure the macula. UV-B rays can do damage to your cornea and lens; these types of rays are considered to be more dangerous.
It is difficult to constantly keep your eyes protected from the sun, but some of the most effective ways are to know the dangers of UV rays and to stay informed about your eye health. If you do not take the time to stay informed and just ignore the health of your eyes, it will come back to haunt you later on in life.
It is also important to carry a pair of sunglasses or a hat as often as possible. Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes, however, be careful about the kind you choose. Some sunglasses are designed with fashion in mind and have no UV protection. While one pair of glasses may be trendier, just remember that long after that trend it out of fashion, you will still need your eyesight.
Lastly, wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap because it can actually block about half of the UV rays that may hit your eyes. Hats are a helpful alternative if you do not have a pair of sunglasses handy, though the combination of the two is the most effective way to protect your eyes.
The sun may not seem to be causing harm every day, but each time you leave yourself unprotected, you put yourself at risk of exposure to harmful UV rays. Even though May is UV Awareness Month, be sure to keep your eyes protected all year round.
Be sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses from Infinite Eye Care.