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Why Is It Important To Protect Your Eyes From The Sun?

Updated on August 10, 2013

We all know how important it us to cover our bodies in sunscreen, but the importance of protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays is something we can overlook. Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B light create powerful, invisible rays with wavelengths shorter than visible light and are the most dangerous elements of sunlight. Your eyes are one of your most precious organs so it’s vital that you take care to protect them from the effects of these rays. Luckily, there are some simple protective strategies you can employ to keep them safe, whether this is buying prescription glasses or sunglasses, or another well-respected brand, or spending time out of the sun.

Over time, the sun’s rays can cause just as much damage to the eyes as to the skin. After all, the skin of the eyelids is thin and especially vulnerable to UV light. And in the same way that the fairest skin is at the most risk, the lightest eyes are more susceptible to damage from the sun.

So what kinds of conditions are your eyes at risk from if you don’t take precautions. Eyelid skin cancers, most of which occur on the lower lid, can be particularly dangerous if they spread to the eye itself and the surrounding areas. If you spend a lot of time in the sun then you should look out for things like lumps around the eye area, persistent red eye or maybe unexplained loss of eyelashes. You should see your doctor immediately if you have one or more of these symptoms.

Cataracts are also a well-known problem which can result from too much exposure to the sun’s rays. These are a progressive clouding and yellowing of the crystalline lens and, although treatable, can cause considerable loss of vision if left alone. It’s worth bearing in mind that at least 10 per cent of these are caused by UV exposure – so remember to put those shades on.

Macular degeneration is a very serious result of cumulative UV damage to the retina and can lead to total vision loss in some cases. The macula is the area near the centre of the retina which is responsible for the sharpest vision. The best way to prevent it is to always wear some high UV protection sunglasses. Choose a good brand such as prescription glasses or sunglasses which can shield your eyes from 100 per cent of UV rays but will still allow you to see with perfect clarity. The good thing about the majority of prescription glasses today, if they are a well-made brand is that they will have some kind of UV filter even if they are not shades.

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for explaining such a detailed hub about protecting our eyes. I would be getting a pair of sunglasses and use it when i am outdoor. No wonder my eyes get blur sometimes. voted up

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