The End of Summer Doesn’t Mean We Can Lose Sight of Sun Protection for the Eyes

This summer seems to have breezed right on by. Fortunately for us, the weather in our neck of the woods isn’t dramatically cold and gloomy. Still, because the temperature does decrease slightly and we may see a few more clouds, it may be easy to forget the immense value of wearing sunglasses every day. Sunglasses aren’t just an accessory to wear at the beach, they are part of a vital practice that protects the eyes from progressive degradation. Here, we discuss just why it is that your eye doctor may strongly recommend sunglasses use throughout the year.

It’s All About the UV

You may have heard that UV light can damage your skin. But just what is UV light and how does it also pose a threat to eye health? UV stands for ultraviolet. More specifically than being ultraviolet light, UV rays in sunshine are ultraviolet radiation. Three different types of UV have been discovered. Fortunately, the strongest and most dangerous only exists in space, above the ozone layer that protects the Earth. The two types of UV light that we need to be concerned about are UVA and UVB. Both can cause sunburn and both can cause damage to the cornea at the front of the eye. Additionally, UVA light can travel to the back of the eye, where it can damage the retina.

Effects of UV Exposure

Damage to the retina is not something that may manifest into symptoms for many years. Corneal damage, on the other hand, can cause blurry vision, light sensitivity, tearing, and redness. Some call these symptoms sun blindness. Depending on the intensity of sunlight reflected into the eyes, temporary corneal damage can be quite uncomfortable. More concerning still is the fact that corneal damage, as well as retinal damage, can accumulate over time. Later in life, UV exposure that cannot be undone can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, conditions that threaten eyesight.

Don’t toss aside your sunglasses even on the random cloudy day we get here in Ocala. Keep your sunglasses handy to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

Is it time for your annual eye exam? Call (352) 237-8400 to schedule a visit to Central Florida Eye Institute.

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