The sun emits two types of UV Rays: UV-A Rays and UV-B Rays. UV-A Rays affect a person’s central vision. These rays damage the part of the eye called the macula; the macula, for those who don’t yet know, is the part of the retina that is at the back of the eye. The UV-B Rays, on the other hand, affect the front part of the eye; the cornea and the lens of the eye absorb most the UV-B Rays.
UV-A and UV-B Rays cause different problems in the eye. One such condition, Macular Degeneration, causes loss to the center field of vision. It’s the leading cause of vision loss. The most common symptom of Macular Degeneration is blurred vision. Cataracts are also caused by UV Rays—especially the UV-B Rays. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens (The lens is the part of the eye that focuses all the light that we are able to see. Another less known condition caused by UV Rays is Pterygium. Pterygium is a growth that begins on the white parts of the eye and eventually moves into the cornea. As the Pterygium grows it could eventually block vision (This is a very common condition among people who work outside). UV Rays, as most of us already know, are one cause of skin cancer. Did you know that you can get skin cancer in and around your eyelids? It’s true, prolonged skin exposure to UV Rays can cause skin cancer anywhere. Lastly, UV Rays can be responsible for temporary conditions such as Corneal Sunburn. Yes, you can get sunburn in your eyes; it is the result of short-to-long term exposure to UV-B Rays. It’s a common condition among people enjoying the beach or the ski hill (remember wintertime air temperatures have nothing to do with exposure to the sun’s rays) without proper eye protection. A corneal sunburn can cause discomfort and pain, and it could even cause temporary vision loss.
If you have any questions as to how Vision Optical can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV-Rays then call today.