The human eye has many ways to protect itself from the UV rays of the sun. The brow, eyelashes, and the pupil all work to protect the eye from too much sunlight. In many situations, however, such as a day at the beach, these natural protections may not be enough.
The acute effects of UV exposure include photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis, which are comparable to a sunburn of the eye and surrounding tissue. These conditions can be very painful, but do not usually result in any long-term damage to the eye or vision.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation can have much more serious results. The development of cataracts, a medical condition where the lens of the eye becomes progressively more opaque and is the leading cause of blindness in the world, has been linked to prolonged sun exposure. Other conditions such as Pterygium (surfer’s eye) and Pinguecula, which cause growths and lesions on the eye, are also linked to UV exposure. To make matters even worse, some research indicates that the lenses of children may let in as much as 70% more UV light than those of adults.
Protecting Your Eyes from UV Radiation
The best way to protect your eyes, and the eyes of you children, is the use of tinted, polarized lenses with UV protection. Palm Beach Eye Center carries a large selection of quality fashion sunglasses of this type available in any fashion or size you could wish for. Manufactures have developed many children sized sunglasses for young kids, toddlers, and even infants. At Palm Beach Eye Center we can even place many prescriptions into our sunglasses.