Summer is a perfect time to engage in outdoor activities and spend quality time with your loved ones. Staying too long in the sun, however, may have negative effects not only on your skin, but also on your eyes. As we observe UV Safety Awareness Month this July, Lifetime Vision Source, your provider of adult and pediatric eye exam and other optometry care, talks about common UV-related eye conditions.
Photokeratitis is corneal inflammation due to sunburn. While it’s reversible and not related to any long-term damage to your eyes, it can be very painful. An extreme form of this condition is snow blindness. This is common among skiers and mountain climbers, as the high altitudes they trek during winter also means strong ground reflection. In fact, snow can reflect up to 80% UV radiation, increasing your risk of having to deal with this problem.
Pterygium refers to the fleshy, often wedge-shaped growth seen on the white surface of your eyes. It’s common among those who are constantly exposed to UV radiation, like those who engage in watersports, which is why it’s also known as “surfer’s eye.” When it extends to your pupil, you may experience changes in your vision. Visit your eye center as soon as possible for a more thorough evaluation.
With summer’s warm weather and stronger UV rays, your eyes’ tear film may evaporate faster than the usual, making you more likely to have dry eyes this time of the year. We suggest drinking plenty of fluids, especially during the warm seasons. We may also recommend applying artificial tears to hydrate and moisturize your eyes.
While cataracts often develop as part of the aging process, a certain type of cataract usually forms when you’re constantly subjected to UV rays, particularly UVB rays. Also referred to as radiation cataracts, these eye problems, your optometrist shares, cause clouding of your lenses, as well. Surveys show that about 10% of all cataract cases happen because of too much exposure to radiation elements.
For more information about common UV-related eye conditions, call us at (701) 864-3777. You may also complete our form to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to check out the last installment of this special blog to learn ways you can safely protect your eyes from UV radiation. We serve Jamestown and nearby ND communities.