How Does UV Radiation Affect Your Eyes?
All the team here at our opticians in Liverpool love summer! Spending time in the sun is great for getting some vitamin D, but ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause long-term damage to your vision, so it’s important that you don’t forget to protect your eyes.
What Is UV Radiation?
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun, but also other sources, including tanning beds. UVA rays are powerful and can penetrate the cornea to the back of your eye, causing damage. UVB rays cannot penetrate past the surface of your eye, but can still cause damage to your cornea.
The damaging effect that UV rays can have on the eyes is cumulative, slowly building up over the years. Over-exposure to UV can put you at greater risk of skin cancer and several sight-threatening conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. If you do develop either of these conditions, symptoms won’t appear until it is too late, and you might experience:
- blurred or clouded vision
- visual disturbances
- difficulty seeing in dim light
- seeing faded colours
Short term damage from UVB rays can cause snow blindness, also known as photokeratitis, which is when your eyes get ‘sunburnt’. It can be caused by light reflection from snow, water and concrete and can be incredibly painful.
How to Protect Your Eyes
We highly recommend wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, even on cloudy days. You can also try Transitions lenses, which are light-reactive lenses that automatically darken when you go out in the sun offering you instant UV protection.
You can also limit the amount of time you spend outside at peak times on sunny days, and wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your eyes from all angles to help give you full coverage from UV.
UV Eye Protection for All the Family
Did you know that kids’ eyes are more sensitive to UV rays than adults? Their natural lenses are clearer, allowing more light to pour in, and once UV damage sets in at a young age, the effects are irreversible. This is why it’s so important for children and teenagers to wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection too!
Get in Touch
For advice on protecting your eyes this summer, or if you suspect you have symptoms of cataracts or macular degeneration, contact our friendly team at our opticians on Aigburth Road, Liverpool.