The Burning Truth Behind UV Radiation and Your Eye Health

photo4686Optometrist Dr. Chantel Garcia stresses to her patients the importance of wearing sunglasses outside, even when the sun isn’t out. This is due to the ever-present ultraviolet rays that are the root cause of many sun related ocular conditions.

Many people begin to notice the sun’s damaging effects on the eyes when the white part begins to turn yellow and/or red bumps form in the inner corners. This commonly found ocular condition is known as a Pinguecula. Besides being cosmetically unappealing, Dr. Garcia explains that they can lead to general irritation, redness and dry eyes. By wearing protection in the form of sunglasses, even on a cloudy day, you are helping to protect your eyes from UV exposure and other serious conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyelid cancers.

Factors that can increase risk for damage to your eyes and make a person more vulnerable to ocular conditions include:

  • Living in geographical locations that lead to more sun exposure or UV radiation
  • Being around reflections that cause increased UV exposure intensity (i.e. water, snow, etc.)
  • Looking directly into the sun (can lead to conditions like Photokeratitis and Solar retinopathy)
  • Spending an excess amount of time in the sun over the years

As long as you are protecting your eyes properly, Dr. Garcia believes you can be safe and enjoy activities without eye deterioration. She tells patients that they shouldn’t need to worry about additional risk factors, as long as they are following the general eye protection guidelines and practicing healthy habits.

Stay tuned for our next blog post about three powerful ways to protect your eyes this summer. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to set up your next eye care appointment.

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