Ultraviolet radiation, whether from artificial sources or the sun, can affect the health of your eyes year-round. This is why you need to take daily precautions against UV overexposure.
Every day, whether it is cloudy or sunny, and despite the season, UV radiation from the sun poses a threat to your eyes. Most of the time, you will not even realize it because ultraviolet light is invisible to the eye. However, when it comes to UV radiation, out of sight should never mean out of mind.
If you expose your eyes to excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation over a relatively short period, you will likely experience photokeratitis. Consider this condition as sunburn of the eye, which can be extremely painful.
Its symptoms include a foreign body sensation in the eyes, red eyes, excessive tearing, and extreme sensitivity to light. Fortunately, these symptoms rarely cause permanent damage to the eyes and are usually temporary.
The longer you expose your eyes to UV radiation, the greater your risk of developing eye cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration, or surfer’s eye later in life. However, it is not clear how much exposure to UV radiation will cause these complications. Therefore, wear good-quality sunglasses and a wide-brim hat when you go outside.
One of the most common areas of the body for non-melanoma skin cancers is the eyelids. The majority of these skin cancers are either squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma. Although such skin cancers have a low risk of spreading to distant sites and lymph nodes, they can still lead to local tissue damage to structures around your eyes. Treatment usually involves surgical removal.
Since solar radiation plays a huge role in the formation of skin cancer, there are several opportunities to prevent the development of skin cancers. According to many experts, physical barriers are better than chemical barriers. Therefore, consider using sunscreen containing titanium or zinc oxide daily. Sunglasses with broad coverage and UV protection are a very important option. They can help limit UV radiation to your eyelids.
In most cases, they are the same. If you wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection, they will also protect you from HEV rays, also known as blue light. Since blue light comes from LED screens while UV light comes from the sun, it may be better to choose both coatings for extra protection. People who spend many hours in front of a computer and heavy gamers should even consider lenses in reddish-brown, copper, or bronze tint for the best protection against blue light.
Kids and adults alike are subject to the negative effects of UV radiation. Fortunately, the damage is preventable through the ideas discussed above. Remember that your kids spend the majority of their time outdoors in the summer. This makes them more susceptible to harmful UV radiation.
To learn more about the importance of UV protection, visit Professional Eye Care at Westar at our office in Westerville, Ohio. You can also call 614-686-2300 today to schedule an appointment.