With temperatures warming up and the appearance of some light at the end of the tunnel as far as the pandemic is concerned, many of us are spending more and more time outdoors to enjoy fresh air and sunshine. But you can have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to sunlight. Most of us may understand the risk of ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure on our skin, but sunlight can cause damage to our eyes as well. Read on to learn more about the importance of protecting your eyes in Oshkosh, WI.
Conditions that can be worsened by UV exposure
Cataracts are the result of a normally clear lens in the eye becoming cloudy, which can lead to progressive vision loss. It’s also one of the most common causes of treatable blindness, with approximately 10 percent of cases attributed to UV exposure. Pterygium is a noncancerous tissue growth on the white part of the eye that could extend onto the cornea and obstruct vision, with this condition being closely linked to UV exposure. Ultraviolet keratitis, or photokeratitis, is comparable to getting a sunburn on the eyes, which can be painful and accompanied by temporary vision loss.
Malignant cancers can grow on the surface of the eye, with the most common forms of conjunctival cancer being squamous carcinoma, malignant melanoma and lymphoma. While skin cancer doesn’t directly occur on the eyes, an estimated 10 percent of all cases occur on the eyelid, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. UV exposure can also accelerate macular degeneration, or the wearing down of a central portion of the retina, which is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over 60.
How to protect your eyes from UV exposure
Sunglasses are the best form of eye protection against sun damage, so choose a pair that blocks at least 99 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Protecting your skin is just as important as protecting your eyes, so always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 that’s safe for the face and eyes before sun exposure. For further protection, wear a hat with at least a three-inch brim.
Sun damage can occur at any time of the year, so it’s important to take precautions against UV exposure whenever you’re outdoors. Sunlight is most intense whenever the sun is directly overhead, so seek shade whenever possible. UV rays can even penetrate through clouds, and no one is immune to sun damage, so never skip out on sun protection in any circumstance.
Now that you understand the importance of protecting your eyes in Oshkosh, WI, you need to find eye care experts who can help you do so. Staffed by a team of highly skilled professionals using only top-of-the-line equipment, Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe provides personalized service and a wide variety of products for the best contact lens and eyeglass experience in the entire area. Contact us to schedule an appointment or visit our shop today to learn more about our services. We look forward to seeing you soon!