Importance of UV Protection


The American Optometric Association recommends constant UV (ultraviolet) protection for the eye area. Unprotected exposure to the sun can damage the structures of the eyes and the skin around them. The same things happen to exposure to indoor UV radiation. If you want to understand the importance of UV eye protection, here’s what you should know.

Prevents Short-Term Eye Damage

Unprotected exposure to intense UV radiation from the sun can result in photokeratitis or severe eye sunburn. Ultraviolet keratitis is another name for photokeratitis as well. It is the inflammation of the cornea — the transparent outer covering of the eye. The damage can affect the retina, conjunctiva, and lens as well. Some photokeratitis symptoms are headaches, tearing, blurry vision, eye pain, and seeing halos.

Going to the beach, fishing, or skiing without proper eye protection can cause temporary blindness. UV rays bounce off reflective surfaces such as sand, snow, and water. Unprotected exposure leaves the eyes vulnerable to UV damage. This could also result in temporary night blindness or transitory nyctalopia. This happens the night after a full day at the beach or on a snowy mountain without eye protection. Eye pain and inflammation grow more intense as the sunsets.

Counters Eyelid Cancer

UV protection for the eyes does not only protect the inner and outer eye structures. It also shields the eyelids from harmful UV rays, preventing the onset of eyelid cancer. The eyelid is a flap of skin protecting the eyes. Without UV protection, the skin is prone to developing cancer in its cells.

Protects Against Long-Term Eye Damage

Frequent exposure to UV rays also results in long-term eye conditions. These eye disorders will need early detection, checking, and treatment. That way, the disorders do not get worse right away. Here are some of the eye conditions capable of causing permanent damage to eye structures:

  • Cataracts: This eye condition happens when the lenses become cloudy.

  • Macular degeneration: Frequent, unprotected exposure to the sun results in photochemical retinal and macular damage.

  • Pterygium and pinguecula: Pterygium is a white wedge over the eye’s clear covering, while a pinguecula is a yellow or white bump within the conjunctiva.


Helps Maintain Younger-Looking Skin

The skin around the eyes is thin. It can dry up right away. As a result, it can develop fine lines and crow’s feet in women who do not wear proper eye protection. The right UV-protective eyewear can block the UV rays from penetrating the eyelids and the surrounding area of the eye. Wearing this type of eyewear can be one of the secrets to lasting youth.

Prevents Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome

This condition causes a flaky substance to collect on the internal structures of the eye. Studies show that this substance is often present on the iris and lens. Having this eye condition increases a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. Wearing proper eyewear can shield the eyes from developing pseudoexfoliation syndrome.

Protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays is important in achieving optimal eye health. At EyeCare Center of Martin, we aim to provide only the highest quality of care during our treatments and procedures. Please visit our clinic in Martin, Tennessee, for an in-person consultation. For appointment scheduling or inquiries about our UV-protective eyewear collection, you can call us at 731-587-3555.

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