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How do UV rays damage your eyes?

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What are UV rays?


There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of UV rays may help cause many eye problems.


Can hurt your central vision. It can damage the macula, a part of the retina at the back of your eye.




The front part of your eye (the cornea and the lens) absorbs most UV-B rays, but these rays may cause even more damage to your eyes than UV-A rays.





What Increases your risk of UV exposure?


While any person who spends too much time out in the sun is at greater risk of UV ray damage but there are certain factors that determine the risks of eye damage from UV rays.

They are: -


Your Geographic Location:

UV rays are also strong in tropical regions near the equator.



UV rays are STRONG in higher altitude so if you are on a vacation to any hilly area or live there, your eyes are at risk of damage.


The time of the Day:

When the sun is high in the sky, typically between 10am to 2pm, the risk of damage is greater.


Open spaces:

Levels of UV rays are higher in open spaces and in places with highly reflective surfaces such as sand and snow increases the chances of eye damage from UV rays.



Certain medication such as sulfa drugs, tetracycline, diuretics, and birth control pills increase your body’s sensitivity to UV rays.


What eye problems can UV rays cause?


Aged-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)


UV rays may lead to macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for older individuals aged 60 years old and up. AMD is also an age-linked disorder. AMD ensuses when the central part of the retina denigrates. Although incurable, there are eye treatments and procedures that may delay the progress of vision loss and decrease symptoms.





UV rays, especially UV-B rays, may also cause some kinds of cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part of the eye that focuses the light we see.




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Another UV-related problem is a growth called pterygium. This growth begins on the white of the eye and may involve the cornea. Eventually, the growth may block vision. It is more common in people who work outside in the sun and wind.


Skin Cancer

Skin cancer around the eyelids is also linked to prolonged UV exposure.


Corneal Sunburn

Corneal sunburn, called photokeratitis, is the result of high short-term exposure to UV-B rays. Long hours at the beach or skiing without proper eye protection can cause this problem. It can be very painful and may cause temporary vision loss.



Follow these simple tips to keep your eyes safe in the sun:


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If you think that sun rays are only harmful during summers then you are wrong. Sun rays can damage your eyes throughout the year. So, wear UV-blocking sunglasses every time you go out in the sun. Get sunglasses that block 100% UVA and UVB rays. Use broad-brimmed hats when outside. This also prevents sun damage to your eyes.






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UV rays can damage your eyes even on a cloudy day. Clouds can block only visible LIGHT, but UV radiations can easily penetrate the clouds. So, do not be fooled by the clouds.











Avoid looking at the sun directly even during the eclipse even while wearing a sunglass. This may cause solar retinopathy, a condition where solar radiation damages your retina.








Kids and older family members are also at risk. Protect their eyes as well. Make them wear UV protected sunglasses and hats when they go out. Use wraparound sunglasses for complete eye protection.

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