Most people are aware of the connection between the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancer, but UV radiation can actually lead to a number of eye problems. Whether it comes from the sun or from a machine, UV radiation can cause serious damage to your vision. Here is everything you need to know about UV radiation and eye care in order to minimize the negative impact of UV exposure on your eyes!

What is UV radiation? UV radiation (also called UV light) is produced naturally by the sun and generated eye-careartificially by lasers and tanning beds. There are two types of harmful UV rays— UV-A and UV-B—and both have deleterious short-term and long-term effects on your body and your eyesight.

How does UV radiation impact eyesight? Excessive exposure to UV radiation will harm your eyes and severely compromise your vision. Many eye diseases and conditions are caused or aggravated by UV radiation, including macular degeneration, cataracts, and skin cancer (in or around the eyelids). Other possible afflictions include Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn or “snow blindness”) and Pterygium (“surfer’s eye”).

How can you protect your eyes from UV radiation? Everyone is at risk for eye damage caused by UV radiation, but the more time you spend in the direct sunlight, the higher your risk. In order to protect yourself from UV light, recognize the dangers and make eye care a priority! Use proper eye protection, namely in the form of polarized sunglasses that block out both UV-A and UV-B light, and wear a sun hat or a cap to further protect your head and your eyes from the sun.

Learn more about the impact of UV radiation on eye health and all relevant eye care tips! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.