UV Safety Month: How the Sun Affects Your Eyes
For many people, the word “summer” conjures images of relaxing outside and enjoying the sunshine. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, toiling away in the garden, or taking a nap in a hammock, the warm feeling of sunlight on your face brings a sense of enjoyment and leisure.
While it’s true that the sun offers a myriad of benefits, such as improving our moods and sleep, it’s also true that too much time in the sun can be hazardous to your health. Most people are already aware that not protecting yourself from the sun can have both short- and long-term effects on your skin, but many don’t realize how much of an impact the sun can have on their eyes as well.
UV Safety Month, which occurs every July, serves as a good reminder for people to make sure they’re taking sun safety seriously. Here’s what you need to know about how the sun affects your eyes, as well as some tips on how to maintain your vision health during the summer and all year round.
UV Radiation and Your Eyes
Did you know that your eyes can actually become sunburned? Just like with your skin, too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV radiation) from the sun can cause damage to the surface of your eye, as well as the lens and cornea.
The UV light that comes from the sun is split into three different types of radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is the most dangerous form of UV radiation, but almost all of it is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. UVB, on the other hand, has been closely linked to the development of several eye conditions, including:
- Eye cancer
- Eye growths
UVA light has been shown to be capable of damaging the retina, but most UVA light never even reaches the retina.
How to Protect Your Eyes From UV Radiation
Luckily, protecting your eyes from UV radiation can actually be a lot of fun and even fashionable. From sunglasses to hats, there are tons of accessories available for everyone’s taste. Just be sure you wear sunglasses that will give you full protection from UV rays. There are many different types of sunglasses to choose from, so do some research and have fun.
In addition to wearing sunglasses and hats, be sure to always practice good sun habits. Never look directly at the sun and always remember that UV rays can be damaging even on cloudy days. Staring directly at the sun can actually cause a retina condition known as solar retinopathy. Although vision loss from this condition is often reversible, it can lead to permanent visual damage.
Have Fun but Be Safe
No matter what outdoor activity you do, always be sure to take the proper precautions when protecting your eyes from the sun. For more information on eye health, contact Austin Retina Associates today.