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How UV Rays Impact Your Vision

How UV Rays Impact Your Vision

UV rays are radiation that comes from either natural light—the sun—or an artificial source, such as a sunbed or sun lamp. While most of us are aware that there’s a link between UV ray exposure and skin cancer, many don’t know that they’re also detrimental to your eyesight.The following discusses the damage that excess exposure can cause and the crucial steps all of us should take to reduce the risk.

All About How UV Rays Impact Vision

  • The lowdown on UV light
  • Eye conditions linked to excessive UV light exposure

The lowdown on UV light

UV (ultraviolet) light is radiation that comes from, mainly, the sun. It can also come from other things, such as welding machines, lasers, and artificial tanning booths. There are different types of this radiation, classified as A, B, or C rays. UV-C radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer. The ones we need to worry about are the UV-A and UV-B rays.

Eye conditions linked to excessive UV light exposure

UV-A and UV-B rays can cause issues with eyesight in both the short and long term. This means that even a brief period of over-exposure can be detrimental to eye health. The following are some of the more common conditions that can be caused or accelerated by UV ray exposure:

  • Cataracts: This is a condition that causes a gradual clouding of the lens within the eye. It progresses slowly, but if left untreated can cause complete vision loss. It’s the leading cause of blindness in the world. It’s believed that at least 10% of all cataracts have been aggravated by excessive UV ray exposure.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Often referred to as AMD, this is the leading cause of age-related blindness. Studies have shown that excessive UV ray exposure increases the risk of contracting this sight-threatening disease.
  • Photokeratitis: Sometimes called “snow blindness”, this is caused by very intense, short-term exposure to UV-B rays. This can occur if, for example,  you ski without eye protection or perhaps spend many hours at the beach or anywhere in bright sunlight. It’s extremely painful and can cause temporary blindness.
  • Pterygium: Or “surfer’s eye”, this is where a growth forms over the white of the eyes. It’s believed that UV exposure increases the likelihood of it occurring.

Other Risk Factors that Increase How UV Rays Impact Vision

  • Risk factors
  • Ways to protect your vision from UV rays

Risk factors

While everyone is at risk of UV ray damage to their eyes, some additional factors can increase this. These include:

  • Having had previous cataract surgery
  • Having any kind of retinal disorder
  • Taking certain medications, such as contraceptive pills, diuretics, tetracycline, and other drugs
  • You spend a great deal of time in the sun
  • You live in a hot climate or at altitude
  • You regularly use artificial tanning aids, such as a sunlamp or sunbed
  • Using welding equipment without the appropriate eye protection

Ways to protect your vision from UV rays

Thankfully, there are many ways that you can protect your vision from these harmful rays. Wearing high-quality sunglasses is by far the best way to do this. These should protect from both UV-A and UV-B rays. If you spend a lot of time outside, then wrap-around glasses that don’t allow light to seep in around the edges are a good choice. Wear a hat with a peak to shade your eyes and, most importantly, have regular eye checks to ensure any changes or disorders are picked up at the earliest opportunity.

Worried About Cataracts or Other Eye Conditions? Contact the WBEC Today

The West Boca Eye Center is a world-leading, academic-grade medical facility that’s dedicated to providing the very best cataract surgery and other eye treatments to patients of all ages. Headed by the globally-renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Brent Bellotte, the clinic offers cutting-edge treatments that are often not available in other areas.Whether you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, want to partner with an eye doctor who specializes in diabetes care, suffer from glaucoma, or have any other condition, the skilled team at WBEC will be delighted to assist. Visit to discover the advanced cataract treatments on offer or call the team today to discuss any other requirements.

How UV Rays Impact Your Vision
How UV Rays Impact Your Vision

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Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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