Your eyes are the only organs in your body that allow the penetration of visible light. This is why they are at high risk of developing UV-induced eye conditions. In this post, Clear View Vision Care, your trusted provider of orthokeratology and other eye care services, explains the effects of too much UV exposure on your eyes as we observe UV Awareness Month this May.
A Background on UV Radiation
Ultraviolet radiation has three major classifications. UVA rays have the lowest energy level among the three, but they can easily pass through your cornea, even reaching your lens and retina. UVB rays, on the other hand, have slightly longer wavelengths than the other two but have middle-range energy frequencies. Lastly, UVC rays emit the highest energy and can potentially cause the most harm to your eyes. Fortunately, the ozone layer blocks almost the entire spectrum of UVC.
Effects of UV Overexposure on Your Eye Health
Too much exposure to UVA rays has been linked to cataract development. Some researchers believe this can also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration during your older years.
Your eye doctor explains that overexposure to UVB rays, despite giving you a tan, can cause photokeratitis, wrinkles and discoloration. It may also make you more likely of developing growths on your eyes’ surface, such as pterygia. Spending a long time in the sun may cause dry eyes as well. With the rapid depletion of the ozone layer, you should be wary of the potential effects of UVC radiation, too.
Protecting Your Eyes
One of the best ways to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV overexposure is to wear sunglasses. We recommend looking for a pair that provides 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Those with oversized lenses and wrap-around frames are a great choice as they prevent UV rays from entering your eyes through the sides. Most importantly, visit your optometrist regularly, so we can constantly monitor your eyes for any UV-related changes.
For premier eye care, turn to Clear View Vision Care. Apart from quality eyewear, we provide vision therapy, dry eye treatment and other optometry services. For more information about how UV rays affect your visual health, call us at (520) 394-6111. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Tucson and nearby AZ communities.