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Importance of UV Protection for the Eyes

The sun is the primary source of energy on Earth. Although its warm rays sustain life, it contains harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that damage your eyes and skin. According to the American Optometric Association, most people are not aware of the harm that UV rays bring to their eyes. UVB and UVA radiation can cause short-term and long-term eye damage. If you want to understand the importance of UV protection for your eyes, here’s what you need to know.


Averts Aging


UV rays are detrimental to your skin. Exposure to these rays causes about 80 percent of aging signs. Each time you step into the sun without UV eye protection, new wrinkles appear on your skin. Crow’s feet and deep lines at the corner of your eyes worsen. You can also expect the emergence of loose skin and sunspots around your eyes. By wearing UV protective sunglasses that block 99.9 percent of UV rays, you lessen the damage to the thin skin surrounding your eyes. Choose eyewear with a label UV400.


Protects From Skin Cancer


The Skin Cancer Foundation warns constantly about eyelid cancer. Most people are unaware of this type of illness. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause melanoma, BCC (basal cell carcinoma), and SCC (squamous cell carcinoma). BCC occurs in 90 percent of eyelid cancers. SCC has a 5 percent occurrence, while melanoma has one to two percent. BCC and SCC can reach your eye structures if they are untreated.


Prevents Short-Term Eye Damage


Unprotected exposure to the sun results in short-term damage to your eyes:

  • Photokeratitis. Quick exposure to UV radiation can cause photokeratitis. This eye condition involves the inflammation of your cornea. Also known as eye sunburn and snow blindness, photokeratitis symptoms include excessive tear production, light sensitivity, and eye redness. You can get this eye condition from intense reflected sunlight from water, concrete, snow, and sand.

  • Photoconjunctivitis. This is the inflammation of your conjunctivitis. You get photoconjunctivitis through a brief yet intense unprotected exposure to the sun. This eye ailment is similar to photokeratitis when it comes to symptoms.


Counters Long-Term Eye Damage


Prolonged unprotected exposure to UV rays leads to the development of the following long-term eye conditions:

  • Pinguecula and pterygium. These are small growths on the whites of your eyes. Experts recognize them as blemishes that result from too much UV exposure. They treat pinguecula and pterygium with topical steroids or surgery.

  • Cataracts. When you have cataracts, your vision becomes cloudy. It is a condition that is usually related to age. If untreated, it can lead to blindness.

  • Macular degeneration (MD). When the macula in your retina starts deteriorating, you will have difficulty focusing. This eye disorder makes it difficult for you to drive a car or read.


You should always protect your eyes from harmful UV rays whenever you spend time outdoors. Here at International Opticians, we have a large collection of UV protective eyewear that can help you improve your eye and vision health. Please visit our clinic in Miami, Florida, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 786-460-1081 if you want to schedule an appointment or ask questions about our UV protective eyewear.

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