Typical “fun in the sun” activities include swimming, building sandcastles on the beach, and tossing a flying disc in the park. But are you blind to the consequences of sun exposure since you are having so much fun?
These are the top 5 eye problems that can be caused by sun exposure, as well as your treatment options.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is responsible for 80% of visible indicators of aging. UV rays damage your skin and accelerate the aging process by causing new wrinkles, sun spots, and looseness in the skin around your eyes.
Squinting in the sun can also cause crow’s feet and wrinkles to deepen. Protective eyewear that blocks UV radiation can help prevent additional damage to the skin surrounding the eyes and the ocular structures.
UV400 or higher ultraviolet (UV) lens protection is recommended. This rating indicates that the lens blocks 99.9% of all harmful UV radiation.
UV sunglasses will protect the delicate skin around the eyes from sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Sunburn on the cornea
The cornea is the clear outer coating of the eye, and it is sometimes referred to as the “skin” of the eye. The cornea, like the skin, can be sunburned.
Photokeratitis is a sunburn of the cornea. It is also known as welder’s flash, snow blindness, and arc eye; this is a painful corneal irritation induced by UV rays that have not been filtered.
As with most sun-related eye disorders, the use of adequate UV protective sunwear is essential for prevention.
Did you know that unfiltered UV exposure can cause or hasten the development of cataracts?
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that can cause vision problems. While cataracts are most typically connected with aging, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses can help minimize your risk of developing them.
Cataracts that impair eyesight are usually treated by removing the lens surgically. An artificial lens is used to replace the clouded lens and restore eyesight.
- Pterygia and pinguecula
Excessive sun exposure causes pinguecula and pterygia, which are growths on the sclera (the white of the eye). On the other hand, a pterygium can expand onto the cornea and impair vision, whereas a pinguecula does not.
The best way to prevent the formation of these topical growths is to wear proper UV protection.
If the pterygium is obstructing your eyesight, surgical removal may be an option. A topical lubricant is frequently given if either growth cause irritations.
- Macular degeneration
The effect of ultraviolet light on the progression of macular degeneration still needs further evidence.
The macula, the center portion of the retina that is important for clear vision, is disrupted in macular degeneration. Sun exposure may aggravate age-related macular degeneration, according to different researches. The course of this disorder can be slowed by regular eye exams and the use of protective sunwear.
Is It Possible to Reverse the Effects of the Sun?
Almost all of these sun-related eye problems can be treated in some way to reduce the side effects if not reversing the overall damage.
It is best to shield yourself from the sun and avoid damage from occurring. Wearing sunscreen with water-resistant, broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of 30 or higher, UV-blocking sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat every time you walk outside is the best way to achieve this.