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UV exposure has a huge impact on the health of a person’s eyes. The exposure can cause inflammation and scarring of the ocular surface. It can also contribute to the development of cataracts and play a role in the formation of macular degeneration. Moreover, regular UV exposure can be responsible for eyelid and ocular surface cancer. Thus, embracing the habit of UV protection is essential for your eye health.


 

Effects of UV Radiation Exposure


 

Short-term exposure to UV radiation usually causes damage to the eyes, similar to a sunburn. Failing to wear protective sunglasses when you go out will cause the eyes to become puffy and red. 
 

 

They may also feel gritty, like having the sensation of sand in your eyes. In addition, people who are sensitive to light experience excessive tearing. The good news is that the symptoms are usually temporary. However, long-term exposure can result in a greater risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. 


 

Risk of Skin Cancer


 

One of the most common sites for skin cancer is the eyelids. Non-melanoma cancers have a low risk of spreading to distant sites or lymph nodes, but they still cause damage to local tissue and the important structures that surround the eyes. Cancer treatment will usually involve the surgical removal of the damaged tissue. Using good UV protection will help to ensure that you avoid this risk.


 

UV Prevention Methods


 

UV radiation plays a role in the formation of cancer and other eye conditions. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent harmful conditions from developing. Using quality sunscreen daily can help to provide a barrier from UV radiation. 


 

The most effective sunscreens contain titanium or zinc oxide, and you can find the best product for your skin type. Good quality sunglasses provide coverage with UVA and UVB protection. The right sunglasses help to reduce UV exposure to the eyes and eyelids.


 

UV Coated Sunglasses


 

When shopping for protective eyewear, you should think about UV coating. It is important to realize that the sun does not have to be shining for harmful rays to cause damage. Thus, ultraviolet rays can damage the eyes even on a cloudy day. 

 


UV rays can be reflected off water, snow, sand, and even buildings. UV protective or coated sunglasses have a thin UVA and UVB coating. The coating acts as a blocking material that helps to protect the eyes.


 

Objects That Produce UV Rays

 


UV coating can be present in sunglasses or a feature added to existing glasses or sunglasses. UV radiation from the sun may be common, but this is not the only threat. Other objects that can pose a threat and include tanning beds, welding machines, and lasers. 


 

These objects also produce UV rays. Glasses with UV protection can help to prevent damage to the eyes caused by UV radiation. Applying UV coating to any glass or plastic lens will help to maximize protection. 

 

It is important to know that sunglasses may lose their UV protection over time. Replacing your protective eyewear every couple of years will help to ensure that you get adequate protection. Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses that reduce the amount of radiation that may enter from the sides.

 

Learn more about the importance of UV protection, contact Berris Optical in Rocky River, Ohio at (440) 333-3138 to schedule an appointment today!

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