The sun is the center of our universe and it is what supports all of the diverse life on planet earth. It provides us with beautiful sunny days, but it can also potentially be harmful to our bodies.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a normal part of the sun’s rays. There are three basic types of UV radiation: UV-C (absorbed by the ozone layer), UV-A and UV-B. It is the UV-A and UV-B rays that can potentially pose a harmful threat to our bodies.Not only can UV radiation damage our skin, it can also cause very serious damage in our eyes. There are also several artificial sources of UV radiation as well such as tanning beds and welding equipment.
Did you know your eyes can actually experience a “sunburn”? It is called photokeratitis, and it is the result of exposure to large amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time. Just like a sunburn of the skin, photokeratitis can be extremely uncomfortable or painful.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation in your eyes can cause more serious problems. Over time, UV radiation exposure can increase your chances of cataract development, and long-term UV radiation exposure can lead to damage of your retina.
Your eye doctor strongly recommends protecting your eyes from UV radiation whenever possible. The best way to protect your eyes from damage is to wear a pair of quality sunglasses that have been coated with UV protection! Your eye doctor recommends eyewear that blocks 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. There are a lot of sunglasses for sale out there in the marketplace, but it is important that you talk with your eye doctor to make sure the pair you wear is properly protecting your eyes and vision. Depending on how you spend your time outdoors or the environment in which you work, there are different styles, tints and coatings that can be appropriate for you.
If you have not had a comprehensive eye exam in awhile, the first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith to make sure your eyes are healthy! If you are interested in protecting your eyes from UV radiation or learning more about appropriate sunwear options, please schedule an appointment to come in and talk with your eye doctor today.