The warnings about sun exposure seem to have gotten through to most of us when it comes to our skin. Unfortunately, some young people are still “laying out” and visiting tanning salons, but sunscreen products are everywhere, so maybe it’s safe to assume that we’re buying them — and using them. It might be because we’ve seen proof of the effects of sun damage on our skin in terms of wrinkles and spots, but hopefully it’s also because we want to avoid skin cancer.
Protecting our eyes from sun is just as (if not more) important
While we might be concerned that sun can damage our skin, most of us don’t protect our eyes from the sun. A recent survey by The Vision Council found that while 75% of Americans are aware that the sun’s ultraviolent rays might harm their vision, only 31% of us protect our eyes with sunglasses when we’re outside.
The Vision Council survey also revealed that 34% of the 10,000 responders said they had experienced symptoms of unprotected UV exposure, such as:
- Eye irritation
- Trouble seeing
- Red eyes
- Swollen eyes
UV damage to the eyes can start 15 minutes after going outside
And according to the survey results, a mere 31% of us realize that our eyes can suffer from sunburn, just like our skin. And the same percentage of us had no idea that too much sun can cause cataracts. An even smaller percentage (21%) realized that UV ray exposure is linked to macular degeneration.
Vision-robbing cataracts and macular degeneration are both associated with UV damage over time, but the short-term effects of UV rays can be experienced after only one long day outside or a few hours of intense, unprotected sun. Short-term sun exposure damage to the eye can include:
- Growths on the eye surface
Both can cause your eyes to become bloodshot, irritated, swollen or hypersensitive to light.
Reduce your risk of UV-related eye damage
- Wear sunglasses that provide UV protection (check the label and ask your doctor)
- Choose lenses and frames suitable for specific activities
- Have you eyes checked regularly
Call for your appointment today: (352)237-8400 or toll-free (800)521-6028.