As summer approaches, you’re hopefully stocking up on SPF to protect your skin from the sun. But did you know your eyes can get sunburned, too? It’s true! Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that’s susceptible to sun damage.
Our team of eye doctors in and around Jeffersonville, Indiana, is committed to keeping your eyes healthy and safe from UV exposure. As we get ready to spend more time outdoors in the coming months, we want you to be aware of what you can do to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Sun Damage in the Eyes
When your eyes are exposed to sunlight, they’re at a higher risk of developing unpleasant conditions, including:
- Sunburned corneas: Also called keratitis, this is a burning of the eye’s clear refracting layer. It can lead to discomfort and potential vision issues.
- Cataracts: Extended UV exposure has been directly linked to the progressive clouding or yellowing of the lens that requires surgery to correct.
- Macular degeneration: While this damage to the retina is usually age-related, excessive exposure to UV rays has been known to speed its development.
- Conjunctival cancers or intraocular melanoma: In extreme cases, you may develop these skin cancers on and around the eyes. Learn more about these cancers and their treatments from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
The Importance of Primary Eye Care
While these conditions may seem alarming, the good news is that they may all be diagnosed and treated with proper primary eye care. Many of their symptoms often go unnoticed until they’re spotted during a regular eye exam. Get your eyes checked regularly so that any potential issues can be spotted early.
People under 61 should have eye exams at least every 2 years, and those 61 and older should have their eyes checked annually. These visits may diagnose much more than just sun damage; eye doctors are often the first to spot diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Learn more in our previous blog post.
Preventing Sun Damage
How can you prevent sun-related issues from developing in the first place? This summer, make it a priority to take precautions, including:
- Wearing proper sunglasses. They should block 100% of UV rays and have large lenses or a wraparound style that can help protect the skin around your eyes.
- Wearing wide-brimmed hats. These can be an added line of defense against the sun.
- Protecting your children’s eyes. A child’s eye lens is clearer than an adult’s, meaning it allows more UV rays to pass through. High-quality sunglasses and hats are essential for keeping your young ones safe.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can protect your eyes this summer with the help of eye doctors in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and throughout the Kentuckiana region, please contact us online or call (812) 284-0660 to schedule an appointment.