Importance of UV Protection for Eye Health

UV protection is crucial not only for your skin but your eyes too. UV rays also affect the eyes and can cause vision loss in the long term. Hence, you need to take care of your eyes and protect them from the sun using sunglasses. You can also add a wide-brimmed hat for good measure.


What Are UV Rays?


UV rays are a form of non-ionizing radiation that the sun emits. They have their risks and benefits. When it comes to the dangers of UV rays, no one is immune to them. Therefore, you should apply some simple tips to protect yourself and your loved ones.


There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is the most damaging. However, the atmosphere filters it before it reaches the Earth’s surface.


UVB is the medium wavelength type that is biologically active and causes tanning. The atmosphere absorbs much of it, and whatever remains cannot penetrate beyond the outer skin layers. However, it can cause cancer. UVA has a long wavelength and accounts for 95 percent of the radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. It can easily penetrate the skin and cause damage.


Importance of Protection


Your eyesight is one of your most crucial senses. It accounts for 80 percent of what you perceive. Without your vision, it is increasingly difficult to navigate your environment. You can reduce vision loss by protecting your eyes against UV rays. Other reasons why it is vital to protect your eyes from UV rays include:


Preventing Age-Related Eye Diseases


Diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration can develop as a result of UV damage. UV rays can cause the modification of proteins in the eyes, causing the clouding of the natural lens. It results in cataracts, which compromise your vision. The formation of free radicals also affects the retina, resulting in macular degeneration.


Preventing Eye Damage

In addition to the lens and the retina, UV rays can also affect the cornea. They can damage it and cause corneal sunburn or photokeratitis. It is a painful condition that alters the outer covering of your eye and may result in temporary vision loss. The effects may last for a few hours or days, depending on the duration of your exposure.


Preventing Cancer and Growths

UV rays can cause conjunctival and other eye cancers. It can also result in growths on the sclera or white of your eye. These growths or pterygia are painful and irritating. Sometimes, they can extend to the cornea. When they do, they may affect your vision, and you will need surgery to remove them.


Promoting Healing


After eye surgery, wear sunglasses with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat. These items help protect your eyes from UV rays. It keeps them safe and allows them to heal without complications. Choose a pair of sunglasses that blocks out 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB rays. They will prevent sun damage even after your eyes heal.


For more information on UV protection for eye health, contact TMS Eyecare at our Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas offices. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 today to schedule an appointment.