How does the sun damage your eyes?

The sun can damage your eyes in numerous ways and as the days are getting longer and warmer, it’s important to know how to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and how damaging these can be to your eyes and the surrounding areas. The sun’s powerful UV rays are powerful, the ultraviolet can cause sunburn, irritation, and even cancer. Don’t be alarmed, there are numerous ways you can protect yourself and still enjoy the summer warmth.

How can the sun damage my eyes?

Did you know your eyes could get sunburned? The term for this is photokeratitis, which is when the sun’s harmful rays reflect from shiny surfaces well as sand and snow, which can burn the cornea. This may result in temporary blindness while the eye heals itself over time.

Additionally, exposure to UV can increase the risk of eye cancers and the skin around the eye. In rare cases, this can happen near the iris and choroid cells. Not only does the sun increase the risk of certain cancers but sun exposure can lead to the development of cataracts. The majority of people develop cataracts later in life, however, sun exposure can speed up the process and result in cloudy vision in one or both eyes. Eye Lounge has a list of products that can help alleviate cataract symptoms as well as prevent them from getting worse.

Sun exposure can lead to macular degeneration, and repeated sun exposure for prolonged periods of time can make macular degeneration worse. There are a variety of products that can help delay macular degeneration as well as alleviate the symptoms, such as MacuShield. If you’d like to see more products, click here.

How can I protect my eyes from sun damage?

The simplest and most effective way of protecting your eyes from UV rays is by wearing sunglasses. It’s best to buy good quality sunglasses that say they block the majority of UV light. Make sure to buy sunglasses that cover your eyes fully and fit you perfectly, so you’re more likely to wear them without causing discomfort. Additionally, we recommend purchasing a hat that goes over the eyes, to shadow the eyes from the sun and reduce glare, hats like caps and bucket hats are great and protective.

If you aren’t busy or going out throughout the day, consider staying indoors during parts of the day when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check your local weather forecast for the UV index, a measure of UV intensity, this can be found in the weather forecast app on your phone, and it should have its own section. Be aware that the UV index can be high even if the day may seem cloudy days.

It is important to seek shade if you are enjoying the sunshine, trees are perfect for sitting under and can help the area feel cooler than in direct sunlight. Did you know trees also cool the air by a process known as 'transpiration cooling'? As trees release water into the atmosphere from their leaves via transpiration, the surrounding air is cooled as water goes from liquid to vapour.

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