Exposure to UV rays can put anyone in danger of eye damage; however, some people are at a higher risk than others, explains Eye Smart. If any of the following are applicable to you or a family member, take extra care when out in the sun.
Who Is Most At Risk for Eye Damage from UV Light?
Post-Cataract Surgery Patients
Every year, 2 million people in the U.S. undergo cataract surgery, a procedure that involves removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). If you have had cataract surgery recently, you were most likely fitted with an IOL that absorbs UV light. However, older IOLs absorb even less UV rays than regular prescription eyeglasses, leaving you more susceptible to damage.
In either case, it is important to take extra steps to protect your eyes, such as by wearing sunglasses and a hat whenever you are outdoors.
Photodynamic Therapy Patients
Eyes are more sensitive to UV light immediately after receiving photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Try to avoid any exposure to sunlight.
Patients on Photosensitizing Drugs
Photosensitizing medication makes both your eyes and skin more vulnerable to sunlight. Drugs that fall into this category include antibiotics containing fluoroquinolone or tetracycline, some birth control and estrogen pills, the antimalarial drug phenothiazine, and psoralen, a medication used to treat psoriasis. Although rare, sensitivity to light may also be a side effect of analgesics such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
People with Light Eyes
If you have blue, green, or hazel eyes, you may be at higher risk of certain diseases, including two rare eye cancers: melanoma of the iris and uveal melanoma.
Whatever your risk of eye damage from UV light, you need to keep your eyes safe from sun rays. As children are particularly vulnerable, make sure that your kids always wear shades with 100 percent UV protection, even when the skies are overcast. You can find a range of styles for kids of all ages in the Real Kids collection.