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Summer Season: How UV Rays Affect Your Vision?

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Although our eyes make up for only a tiny fraction of the human body’s entire surface area, they are still one of the most important sensory organs. It is because the eyes allow us to make the most of different experiences by helping us witness all the world around us.
Our eyes comprise of the cornea, the retina, and a few other parts, all of which together enable us to see things. However, as these are recessed in the interior of our head, and are incredibly delicate, our brow ridges, eyebrows, and eyelashes provide much-needed protection for the eyes.
However, when it comes to UV protection, our eyes are vulnerable. The mechanism of our nerves and eyes are such that the squinting reflexes, closing of eyelids, and pupil constrictions can help lessen sunlight penetration into the eyes. In reality, it’s just the bright visible light that activates these eye mechanisms to restrict the light from entering the eyes. But UV rays (radiations) can still enter your eyes and harm them.

The Effects of Prolonged UV Exposure

Comes summer season, the sun starts to glare. While you make sure that you keep yourself hydrated and fresh during the summers, it is also essential to consider the health of your eyes. UV Rays are known to harm the eyes and lead to various eye conditions and vision problems[1]
Here are three conditions caused due to UV ray exposure that can affect your vision:
1. Photokeratitis And Photoconjunctivitis
Photokeratitis and Photoconjunctivitis are two of the most common eye problems that can occur due to UV ray exposure[1].
Photokeratitis is an inflammation of the cornea of the eye. In contrast, Photoconjunctivitis is the inflammation of the membrane lining the insides of the eye socket and eyelids, which is known as the conjunctiva.
Consider both of these reactions as a kind of sunburn. Since the eyes are extremely sensitive, prolonged exposure to the sun adversely affects them. These conditions can be typically reversed with medical care and are not usually known to cause any long-term vision or eye damage. However, it is still a painful experience to suffer from either of these conditions.
2. Cataracts
According to WHO’s estimates, Cataract is one of the leading causes of vision impairment throughout the world. More than 65 million people suffer vision impairment due to cataracts[2].
A cataract is a condition that occurs when the proteins present in the eye lens form clumps and accumulate pigments which leads to clouding of the eye lens. This clouding reduces the amount of light that enters the eye and causes blurry vision.In some cases, it may even become severe[3].
Cataracts may develop in individuals differently, but it may get aggravated due to UV-B ray exposure Cataract can be treated by removing the clouded lens & replacing it with an artificial lens or other types of vision correction. A simple way to avoid UV ray exposure is to use a sunglass when out in the sun.
3. Pterygium
Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a bump which appears on the eyeball. Usually, Pterygium is caused due to prolonged exposure to the sun, or unaddressed dry eye conditions. The condition tends to advance within the whites of your eyes and can progress to the cornea, if left untreated[4].

Find the Right Protection for Your Eyes

To put it simply, there are two critical ways for you to protect your eyes from the dangers of UV ray exposure:
– To know about the different risks
– To use appropriate eye protection that can block UV rays
You also need to know that UV rays can come from any direction, be it directly from the sun, or through reflections on water, sand, snow, and any such bright surfaces.
You can minimize the impact of UV ray exposure by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat or a cap. Similarly, you will also find different types of contact lenses that offer protection against UV rays. You can explore options from reputable brands such as Bausch+Lomb, which provide various types of contact lenses, including contact lenses that provide UV blocking protection, and also several types of contact lenses that prevent lens-related dryness in the eyes.
Bausch+Lomb’s Biotrue ONEday Daily disposable contact lenses offer protection against the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun, while also helps keep your eyes moist, thereby preventing dryness in the eyes*.
Although it is recommended that you also use a pair of sunglasses, while wearing contact lenses that offer UV protection (to double up on safety), it would be better if you consult with your eye care specialist before doing so. Remember, safety ensures healthy eyes!