The Dangers of Not Using UV Protection Sunglasses

Sunglasses have become a popular accessory, with people looking for the most stylish designs to suit their tastes. However, wearing sunglasses is more than just making a fashion statement. They are functional, helping protect the eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays. 

The sun's rays are invisible, but they can cause severe damage to the eyes. Failing to wear protective sunglasses puts you at risk of developing several eye ailments. It is essential to know the dangers of not using UV protection sunglasses. 


Developing Eye Sunburn

Just as sunscreen protects the skin from sunburn, sunglasses help protect the eyes from harmful rays. Prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful rays can lead to photokeratitis. The sun’s rays can reflect off shiny surfaces like ice, water, snow, and sand, damaging the eyes. 

Photokeratitis, or snow blindness, can also be caused by artificial UV radiation like tanning beds. The eye sunburn is painful but temporary, but it can be severe in some cases, requiring medical attention. Wearing sunglasses can help prevent exposure to the sun. 


Risk of Developing Cataracts 

Failing to wear sunglasses can lead to the development of cataracts that can cause vision loss. The condition, characterized by a clouding of the lenses, can be due to prolonged exposure to UV rays. 

Cataracts result in blurry vision, light sensitivity, double vision, faded color vision, and difficulty with night vision. Treatment for cataracts involves surgical removal of the eye lens. Using UV protection sunglasses can reduce the risk of getting cataracts. 


Development of Eye Growths

Not using UV protection sunglasses can lead to the development of eye growths. Pterygium and pinguecula are growths in the eye that can cause severe discomfort. A pterygium occurs as a pink growth on the white part of the eye corner. 

A pinguecula is a yellow growth on the inner eye corner. The eye growths are usually treated using prescription drugs. In some cases, eye growths can become severe, requiring surgical removal. 


Risk of Eye Cancer

Failing to protect your eyes from UV rays can lead to the risk of intraocular melanoma or eye cancer. People who have light-colored eyes have the highest risk of developing cancer, also known as uveal melanoma. 

Symptoms of the condition include: 


  • Blurred vision

  • Seeing spots or floaters

  • Light flashes

  • A dark spot of the eye’s iris

Treatment options include radiation therapy, surgery, laser treatment (photocoagulation), and thermotherapy. In severe cases, part of the eye and optic nerve requires removal. 


Risk of Developing Wrinkles

The skin around the eyes is thin, sensitive, and prone to premature wrinkling. Failing to wear sunglasses can lead to sun damage and the development of crow's feet. Failing to wear sunglasses can also lead to squinting when exposed to sunlight. Squinting can lead to wrinkles around the eyes. 

Other reasons to wear sunglasses include protecting the eyes from debris and preventing glare when driving.

It is necessary to know that cheap glasses can do more harm than good. Poor quality sunglasses do not offer UV protection. They are tinted but do not block UV rays, and they can damage eye health. When worn, the darkness causes dilation of the pupils, allowing the entry of more UV light into the eyes. It is crucial to wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection. 

For more on the dangers of not using UV protection sunglasses, visit Primary Eye Care at our office in Tupelo, Mississippi. Call (662) 200-9842 today to schedule an appointment.

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