If you’re like most people, you almost never forget to grab your favorite pair of sunglasses when heading to the beach or any other outdoor summer activity. While this is a good habit to practice, it’s simply not enough to protect your eyes from sun damage. You may not realize it but the sun is present even on overcast days. What’s more, experts say about 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate through clouds and reach your skin and eyes.
Mack Eye Center, a team of eye doctors in Hoffman Estates, shares three reasons why you should wear your sunglasses year round.
Surfaces like snow, sand and water reflect the sun’s UV rays more than other surfaces. Unprotected sun exposure around reflective surfaces like snow can lead to what many call “snow blindness,” a condition medically known as photokeratitis. Snow blindness is a painful, temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to UV light. Common symptoms include eye pain, burning eyes, red eyes, sensitivity to light and blurry vision. Tanning booths without proper eye protection can also lead to snow blindness.
The fall and winter seasons bring along with them cold, dry and windy conditions that can cause or worsen dry eye. Common symptoms of dry eye include redness, dryness, burning and blurry vision. Wearing sunglasses can protect against the elements of the weather and prevent your eyes from drying out.
Cataracts and Macular Degeneration
Not all sun damage is instant. Years of unprotected sun exposure can gradually increase your risk of serious eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which causes blurry vision. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the macula, which is responsible for the central field of vision. Macular degeneration does not cause complete blindness but it can severely limit vision and interfere with everyday tasks like driving and reading.
Contact Mack Eye Center Today
To learn more about eye care, or to discuss your vision needs with a board certified ophthalmologist, please contact Mack Eye Center today.