The sun may be the primary source of life on Earth. However, too much exposure to its light may do more harm than good to your eyes. Experts found that ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate your eyes and potentially cause serious visual changes.
In this post, your trusted eye doctor from AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care talks about common eye conditions linked to UV overexposure, as we observe UV Awareness Month this May.
Photokeratitis is sometimes referred to as eye sunburn. This may happen when your eyes are constantly exposed to UV rays, especially UVB rays, without adequate protection. This may cause damage to your cornea and conjunctiva, the tissue layers covering your eyes and the inside part of your eyelids.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Basking in the sun for a long time may cause your tears to evaporate rapidly, resulting in dry eyes. This may cause reduced hydration and lubrication in your eyes that may lead to visual discomfort. Your eyes may turn red and itchy when this happens. A stinging or gritty sensation is also common. Experiencing any of these symptoms is a sign you need to visit your eye care center immediately.
More popularly known as “surfer’s eye”, this condition manifests in a fleshy, wedge-shaped and non-cancerous growth that usually appears on the white part (sclera) of your eyes. While its exact cause remains unclear, excessive exposure to UV rays is considered a major risk factor for pterygium.
Cataracts often form during your adult years. Overexposure to UVB rays has been found to be a contributing factor to their onset. Without prompt and proper management, they may cause blindness. Removing them surgically may be recommended when they are causing significant vision impairment.
Apart from increasing age, staying in the sun for long hours may contribute to macular degeneration. Studies reveal that the harsh UV rays may hasten macular and retinal deterioration, increasing your risk of developing this disease. Currently, there’s no proven cure for this condition. However, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and having regular eye exams can slow its advancement.
For more information about how UV light affects your eyesight, call us at (757) 772-0086. You may also fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve Virginia Beach and nearby communities. Check out the last part of this special blog to learn effective ways to protect your eyes from the sun’s radiation.