Ask any optometrist and they will tell you that too much UV exposure from the sun can have many negative effects on our eyes, and therefore, our vision. A day at the beach, walking your dog on a bright day, or laying out at the pool are all fun activities to do under the sun. Unfortunately, these daytime activities are also exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays.
Common Eye Conditions Caused by Too Much Sun Exposure
1. Cataracts. Many people are familiar with cataracts – a clouding of the lens in the eye that can severely affect your vision. What they are not familiar with is what actually causes them. Aside from natural aging, unfiltered UV exposure can cause or accelerate cataract development.
2. Corneal Sunburn. Your corneas are the clear outer covering of your eyes. A good way to think about them is like skin and, just like your actual skin, they can be burned by the sun. Sunburn of the eyes is called photokeratitis. This causes painful inflammation of the corneas. If you spend a lot of time under the sun, your optometrist will recommend that you wear sunglasses to protect your corneas.
3. Pterygia and Pinguecula
These are growths in the white portions of your eye that can be brought upon by excessive sun exposure. Pterygium can potentially spread onto your cornea and impair your vision, while pinguecula does not. If pterygium ends up affecting your vision, your eye doctor may recommend surgical removal.
Are you suffering from eye problems due to excess sun exposure? Then you should definitely see a trusted local optometrist. Give Alderwood Optical & Canyon Park Vision Clinic a call at (425) 771-8472 or fill out our form to schedule an appointment today. We serve patients in Washington including Bothell, Lynnwood, and Shoreline, WA.