While we experience four distinct seasons here in the Northeast, the sun can be out and about in each. Just as you take steps to protect your skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, we urge you to extend this protection to your eyes, which can also be damaged by too much exposure.
At Vision and Ortho-K Center, Dr. Curtis Frank and our team offer a wide range of sunglasses that are not only stylish, they can help preserve your eyesight and eye health for years to come.
Here’s a look at five conditions that can develop on the heels of too much UV exposure to illustrate why sunglasses are so beneficial.
Nearly 25 million people aged 40 years and older in the United States have cataracts. By age 75, half of people have the condition.
With cataracts, the lenses in your eyes become cloudy, and this can be accelerated by excessive exposure to UV rays. More specifically, UV rays can damage lens proteins and lead to oxidative stress, which places you more at risk for cataracts.
And if you’ve already had cataract surgery, it’s terribly important that you protect your new lenses from the possible dangers of UV exposure.
Another eye disease that can be exacerbated by UV exposure is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can rob you of your central vision. The same oxidative stress that we reference above under cataracts can also place you more at risk for AMD.
This temporary, but painful, eye condition is directly related to exposure to UV rays. With photokeratitis, your corneas incur a sunburn, which can lead to eye symptoms like:
While these symptoms generally don’t last beyond 48 hours, photokeratitis is a condition that’s best avoided in the first place.
Your eyelids are very thin tissues that can develop skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinomas, basal cell carcinomas, and cutaneous melanoma. Each of these cancers are largely caused by UV exposure so, just as your eyelids protect your eyes, you should protect the lids against sun damage.
If our medical reasoning isn’t enough to make you appreciate the importance of protecting your eyes against the sun, we want to end with a cosmetic one. The sun is responsible for most of the visible signs of aging in your skin, including the thin tissues around your eyes.
If you want to avoid photodamage in the skin around your eyes, wearing sunglasses is a great idea.
As we mentioned, we offer a comprehensive selection of sunglasses that come with prescription lenses and UV protection. Not only do these sunglasses allow you to see more clearly when the sun is out, they can protect your eyes against UV damage at the same time.
To find the right sun protection for your eyes, contact one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, to schedule an appointment.