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Why Is UV Light Bad For Your Eyes?


After the long and gray winter, we welcome the sunshine and warmth. Sunlight is good for us, emotionally and physically. But while we are celebrating nicer weather and soaking in that vitamin D, let’s not forget to protect ourselves against the harmful side of  UV rays. When it starts getting hot, most people know they should slap on some sunscreen. And though we may know in the back of our minds that sunglasses are important as well, many Americans do not wear them. In fact, a recent study stated that only 31% of U.S. citizens say they wear sunglasses. That’s an astonishingly low percent given all the damage UV rays can cause our eyes. So why is UV light bad for your eyes anyways?

1. UV light can affect the internal health of your eye.

UV rays can be the cause of several internal eye health issues. Macular degeneration, which is a disease where the macula breaks down and central vision deteriorates, and cataracts, a clouding of the lens inside your that makes your vision murky, are two of the major issues that can be brought on by UV rays. Though there are other factors that contribute to these diseases as well, UV rays are known to speed up the onset of them. People who have been diagnosed with a choroidal nevus, which is freckle on the back wall of the eye, are also encouraged to take extra precautions against sunlight.

2. UV light can damage the surface and exterior of your eye.

Too much exposure to intense UV lights, like during a solar eclipse or spending too much time out on the water during an extremely bright day, can actually cause damage to the front of your eye. These corneal flash burns are similar to a sunburn, and can be very uncomfortable. They may cause light sensitivity, blurred vision, and pain.

3. UV light can cause the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes to deteriorate.

Our eyelid tissue and the skin surrounding our eye sockets is very thin. Because of this, it is delicate and sensitive, needingto be treated carefully. Consistent sunburn around our eyes can cause structural damage to the skin, over time giving people a weathered or fatigued look. More importantly, continually exposing this skin to UV rays increases the chance of developing skin cancer around the eyes.

4. UV light can cause eye strain and fatigue.

When bright sunlight causes us to have to squint and concentrate hard, it can quickly bring on eye strain and headaches. Avoid the unnecessary irritation by protecting your eyes on those sunny days!



Here at Vision Source Meadville, we are just as ready for the sun as you are! It’s been a hard and seemingly unending winter, and we can’t wait to enjoy the warm days that are coming.  Now that you know why UV light is bad for your eyes, you can takes steps to prevent the damage and get on with enjoying better weather. We’re all picking out our summer sunglasses to protect our eyes from UV rays- are you?