Importance of UV Protection

UV (ultraviolet) radiation can harm your eyes and your eyelids. The American Optometric Association says that natural sunlight outdoors and artificial lighting indoors are potent sources of UV rays. You must take precautionary measures to protect your eyes from overexposure. If you want to find out the importance of UV protection, here’s what you should know.


Prevents Short-term Eye Damage

Unprotected UV exposure could damage your eyes, even if it were for a brief moment. Intense direct sunlight and sunlight that bounces off reflective surfaces can damage your eyes. This temporary condition is called photokeratitis. Snow, water, sand, and glass are reflective surfaces that can shine UV rays at you from every direction.

Photokeratitis or UV keratopathy is the inflammation of the clear covering of your eye. Common symptoms are blurry vision, redness, pain, tearing, and light sensitivity. You can get photokeratitis from exposure to bright sunlight at the beach, on a body of water, or a snowy day. If you do not wear any UV eye protection, you will have UV keratopathy. Another name for this condition is snow blindness. People who do welding work tend to have photokeratitis all the time.

You should wear UV eye protection if you know that it is going to be a sunny day. A wide-brimmed hat and UV protective eyewear can provide another layer of protection to your eyes. Wrap-around sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays from all sides. Being diligent with UV eye protection can save you from short-term eye damage.


Protects Eyes From Growths

Shielding your eyes from UV rays can also prevent eye growths like the following:

  • Pterygium. This is white, wing-shaped growth over clear eye tissue. As it continues to grow, it scars the cornea. If this does not get treatment, it can lead to permanent blindness. This eye condition often affects people who reside near the equator.
  • Pinguecula. This type of tumor grows inside your conjunctiva. You should receive treatment right away if you have this type of eye condition. Wearing UV protective goggles or sunglasses can help prevent your pinguecula from worsening.


Prevents Long-term Eye Damage

Proper eye protection can also keep away the following long-term eye damage:

  • Macular degeneration. In typical cases, the macula is the source of your central vision. Habitual neglect of your eyes can lead to the onset of macular degeneration. This is when the macula of your retina starts to deteriorate. Macular degeneration is a progressive disease.
  • Cataract. Years of overexposure to UV rays can also result in the formation of a cataract. Cloudy lenses are primary signs of cataracts. Wearing UV400 sunglasses, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet can slow down the formation of cataracts.


Keeps Skin Youthful-Looking

Wearing proper eye protection also shields the skin around your eyes from UV damage. By wearing UV-protective sunglasses, you can prevent the formation of crow’s feet and fine lines.

UV eye protection can improve your health and quality of life. At Coers Family Eyecare, P.C., we encourage our patients to have routine eye checks. That way, we can detect and treat eye conditions early. Visit our clinic in Columbus, Indiana, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 812-408-8400 to schedule an appointment or ask questions about our collection of UV protective eyewear.

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