Your eyes and the sun
Most of us remember to apply sunscreen to our skin to protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. Don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or indoor tanning can damage the eye and surrounding tissues. Here’s a look at eye conditions you can avoid by taking special care when in the sun.
Sunburn on your eye?
Yes, it is possible to have a sunburn on your eye. Keratitis is a corneal sunburn caused by UV exposure. UV radiation is a cause of several other serious eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and conjunctival eye cancers.
Damage to eyelids
Ultraviolet radiation can lead to premature aging of the delicate skin around the eyes and even skin cancer on the eyelids. Eyelid cancer typically responds well to treatment if it’s diagnosed and treated early. Untreated eye cancers lead to tissue damage and blindness.
Protecting your eyes
Here are simple actions you can take when you’re out in the sun to protect the health of your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding them:
- Wear sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear sunglasses all year long when you are out in the sun. And don’t think that cloud cover means you’re safe. The sun’s rays can penetrate clouds and haze.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes, ears, head and face.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Find shade, especially when the sun is most intense (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Be extra cautious when you’re near water, snow and sand, and 80 percent or more of the sun’s rays reflect off of these surfaces. Wear eye protection when you’re skiing, snowboarding or hiking as UV intensity increases with altitude.
These are just a few things you can do to protect your eyes. Regular eye exams are important to maintaining eye health. To schedule an eye exam at Papale Eye Center, contact our Springfield office today at (413) 782-0030.