Everywhere you look there are warnings about the sun’s rays. You are told to wear sunscreen at every turn whether the sun is out or not. But, did you know that the harmful ultraviolet rays are a big factor in certain eye conditions such as cataracts?
There are three levels or types of ultraviolet or UV rays. They are categorized as A, B and C. Although C is the worst of the three, it is not as much of a threat as A and B, since the Earth seems to soak up most of it. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, it is important to wear protective glasses over your eyes.
This holds especially true if you like to go skiing or even spend time in the sand. The reason for this is because the UV light from the sun is bounced off of the sand and snow and endangers the surface of the eye of getting burned. This can be compared to your getting sunburn in the summer, but your eye is thinner and more sensitive.
Some of the issues that your eyes can have from the sun are swelling, causing you to have trouble looking at a bright light making them feel dry or gritty and making you blink a lot or watering. These are some of the temporary side effects from the sun.
There are some longer term issues that can arise. You can get cataracts, cancer on your eye lids or of the conjunctiva. Over exposure of your eyes to the sun is also linked to macular degeneration. This is a condition that causes blindness as you get older.
As stated earlier, wearing protective glasses are a great start. They need to provide you with UV protection from the sun. If you wear contacts, ask the doctor about contact lenses that have a UV protector in them. Remember, the sun is at its strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. And, if you tan, wear the protective glasses they provide. These lamps are dangerous to your eyes.