How Does Ultraviolet Light Affect Eyesight?

Ultraviolet light can vary, being greatest in the summer and in areas near the equator.  Studies show that long-term exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. UV rays reflected off sand and water can cause eyes to become sunburn, potentially resulting in temporary blindness in just a few hours. It is very important to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays with UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.

How Does UV Light Affect Eyesight?

Cataracts– A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens.  Ultraviolet light, especially UV-B rays (320-280 nm), increases your risk for certain types of cataracts.

Macular Degeneration– Macular Degeneration (AMD) is caused by damage to the retina.  Extended exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.

Pterygium-non-cancerous growth that forms on the layer of conjunctiva over the white of your eye. UV light from the sun is believed to be a factor in the development of these growths.

Photokeratitis– A burn of the cornea by UV- B rays.  Also called radiation keratitis or snow blindness.  This can be caused by sun reflection from sand, water, ice and snow.  Skiing without proper eye protection and long hours in the sun can cause this problem.

Remember this summer to block out harmful UV light by shielding your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays with 100% UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.