Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a type of radiation that is emitted by the sun. While UV rays can be beneficial in small doses, exposure to excessive amounts can be harmful to our eyes.
The most common effect of UV rays on the eyes is sunburned eyes, also known as photokeratitis. This condition occurs when the cornea and conjunctiva, the clear outer covering of the eye, become inflamed as a result of UV exposure. Symptoms of photokeratitis include red eyes, sensitivity to light, and a feeling of sand or grit in the eyes. In rare cases, it can cause temporary vision loss.
Long-term exposure to UV rays can also lead to more serious conditions such as cataracts, which are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can cause vision loss. UV rays can also contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that affects the retina, the part of the eye responsible for sharp central vision.
To protect your eyes from UV rays, it's important to wear sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside, especially during the middle of the day when the sun's rays are the strongest. Even on cloudy days or when you're driving, UV rays can still reach your eyes through the windshield.
For those of us who wear eyeglasses, it's common to get caught without a pair of sunglasses. It can be a good idea to keep EyKuvers on hand.
By taking simple steps to protect your eyes from UV rays, you can help keep your vision sharp and healthy.