Sun Does More Damage To Your Eyes Than To Your Skin
Protect your eyes from sun.
There is no secret that prolonged exposure to the summer sun can cause severe inconvenience to the skin. What is less known is that the eyes can be seriously affected or more affected by strong radiation too. These troubles can be prevented by constant protection.
Summer has special features. The sun emits ultraviolet radiation during the entire year, but during hot weather they are about three times stronger than in winter. Also, their intensity increases with altitude, so people who are exposed to sunlight on mountain peaks are more prone to develop various related diseases. People who work outdoors, those with green or blue eyes, or who are receiving certain medications such as sulfonamides, tetracycline, phenothiazines, psoralens or allopurinol are most affected by the ultraviolet rays.
Ultraviolet radiation and their effects on the eyes
UV rays the most harmful solar radiation. Ultraviolet radiation consists of three types of radiation according to wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. Ultraviolet type C are those with the shortest wavelength and the most pronounced risk for the body. But most often they are absorbed in the atmosphere, which makes them less harmful than the type A or B.
Exposure to UV radiation, especially reflected by sand in summer or snow in winter can cause severe burns to the eye. Like those of the skin they are painful, but temporary. A long exposure can affect not only the structure of the eye surface (cornea and conjunctiva), but aslo the elements of internal structure, such as retina or lens.
A recent study by the National Eye Institute – USA show that people who have spent four to five hours as a teenager in the sun every day during the summer are subject to 50% higher risk of developing macular degeneration.
Simple or severe events?
Sunburns in the eye can often determine a series of temporary symptoms such as:
- Sensation of sand in eyes
- The need to blink excessively
- Watery eye
- Difficult to tolerate bright light
- Eye inflammation
Those are, however, exaggerating a little bit, “the happy scenarios”. Sometimes the effects are irreversible. Prolonged exposure during life leads to the installation of cataracts. The cornea may also be affected by sunburns, sometimes causing temporary blindness. The sun is also responsible for developing cancers of the conjunctiva or eyelids. New studies show that sun causes macular degeneration that can lead to blindness.
Cataract is an opaque thin film in the lens. It blocks the light beam passage to the retina (nerve component of the eyeball that forms the image), causing vision problems. Worldwide according to the World Health Organization, there are 16 million people who have lost their sight due to cataracts, of which 20% have acquired the disease after exposure to UV rays of the sun.
What can we do?
A number of measures are recommended, that everyone should take the time and consider, to avoid inconveniences caused by harmful sun rays:
- Constantly seek the benefits of sunglasses even on cloudy days or in winter.
- Select your sunglasses carefully. They should lock in efficiently UV type A and B, but maintaining a good visibility of 75-90%.
- Check carefully to avoid different lens imperfections that could allow light penetration. Also, the sunglasses should not cause image distortions.
- It is best to choose gray lenses that protect against radiation without distorting colors
- Children and teenagers should be given special attention because, in most cases, they are the ones who spend longer periods in the sun than adults.
- Regular checks done by an ophthalmologist are very important. This way you can gain control upon vision problems and receive advice related to sun protection and the health of our eyes.