July 2021 is UV (Ultraviolet) Safety Month. It is summertime now and we are getting past COVID-19, and heading to the beaches. During the summer months, our eyes are exposed to UV light, and these rays are stronger during the spring and summer months. Many assume that on a cloudy day the UV rays have less of an impact. However, it is important to note that UV rays can reach the ground on cloudy days as well and have a similar impact on the eyes. Exposure to UV light can cause damage, sunburned eyes, from both short-term and long-term exposure which will negatively affect your vision.
Recent studies have shown that long-term exposure to bright sunlight, UV, can increase the risk of cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. We are now going to the beaches, the neighborhood pool and engaging in outdoor activities. UV rays reflect off sand and water which can cause eyes to sunburn, and therefore resulting in temporary blindness within a few hours. The American Academy of Ophthalmology informs the public about the consequences of not protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. They suggest that you use 100% UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats. Long term, UV exposure can cause more serious eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, and others which all can be a threat to your eye health and vision. It is important to note the following:
- .A cataract is a clouding of the eyes’ natural lens which is the part of the eye that focuses the light we see. UV light, especially UV-B rays, increases your risk for certain types of cataracts.
- Macular degeneration is a disease that causes vision loss in the center of the visual pathway. Leaky blood vessels grow under the retina when there is dry macular degeneration resulting in blurred vision. Exposure to UV light will harm the eyes, affect your vision, therefore, resulting in deteriorating overall eye health, temporary vision loss, and damage around the eyelids.
Several symptoms are:
- Pain and swelling
- Eye pain when trying to open, close, or move your eyes
- The eye sensitive to the touch
- Swollen eyeball, eyelids, or the entire face
- The cornea (on the front of the eye) is inflamed or burned
It is important to see us immediately if you believe that your eyes have been affected by UV light, resulting in sunburned eyes, contact us immediately.
“Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal.” – Samuel Richardson