It is officially summer! Even though this summer’s activity will be a slightly different experience than what we had endured in past summers. There is still summer fun to have outside, but it also means more exposure to harmful UV rays. Are you prepared with the proper sun protection?
UV Rays Versus Healthy Vision
Even if we’re careful not to look directly at the sun, just being outside for extended periods can be enough time to get sunburns on our eyes. Simply being outdoors for several hours on a sunny day can mean enough UV exposure to cause a condition called photokeratitis. Essentially, this is a sunburn of the surface of the eye, with symptoms like redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and tearing.
UV Vision Damage Over Time
UV exposure also has a cumulative effect over the course of our lives, such as increasing the risk of developing sight-threatening conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Two other conditions, we are more susceptible due to UV exposure, are pinguecula and pterygium, more commonly known as “surfer’s eye.” Pinguecula occurs when a white or yellow bump forms in the conjunctiva that covers the whites of our eyes. Pterygium is an overgrowth of clear tissue from the white of the eye towards the iris.
Protecting Your Eyesight
We can do a lot to protect our eyes if we just follow a few simple tips:
- Always wear sunglasses outside during the day, and make sure they block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats to provide additional shade.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight during the brightest hours of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
How is your eye health? We ask because we care.
If you have any questions about UV rays and how to protect your eyes from them or if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to schedule your next appointment with Central Florida Eye Specialists! Call 386-734-2931 to schedule your appointment today.