Most people are aware of the damage that high exposure to UV rays can do to their bodies, particularly as skin cancer is now the most common type of cancer in the U.S. However, UV rays can also cause significant damage to the eyes and vision. The following are the most common and serious problems named by Prevent Blindness.
Linked to prolonged UV exposure, basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer that affects the area around the eyes. It is usually present in the eyelids, corners of the eyes, or under the eyebrows.
Cataracts form when the lens (the part of the eye used to focus light) becomes cloudy. Medical researchers have linked UV rays, particularly UVB rays, to some types of cataracts.
Also called photokeratitis, corneal sunburn is a very painful condition that may cause temporary vision loss. The problem usually occurs after a person spends long hours at the beach, skiing, or otherwise in areas of high exposure to UV rays in the short term without adequate eye protection.
Macular degeneration is common among older adults and is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the U.S. today. Those suffering from the condition often struggle to read or recognize faces.
Pterygium can occur when a person spends long periods outdoors in the sun without UV ray-blocking sunglasses. It begins as a small, benign growth on the conjunctiva, or the white part of the eye, and can sometimes reach the cornea. Left untreated, the growth can become big enough to obscure vision.
Protect your family’s, and especially your kids’, eyes from UV exposure with sunglasses that offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. You can find a pair that provide adequate sun protection of kids of all ages at the Real Kids online store.