An industry group known as The Vision Counsel, has issued a new report about our sunglass habits and how they could use improvement. While 73% of adults do wear sunglasses, only 58% of them make their children wear shades, too, the report found. “A substantial proportion of people still do not understand that UV exposure is harmful to the eyes as well as the skin,” says Paul Michelson, MD, an ophthalmologist in La Jolla, Calif.
UV exposure can cause short-term and long-term effects on eye health. People with blue eyes are more at risk for UV damage than those with brown eyes, experts say. After a long day at the beach, eyes may seem bloodshot, swollen, and light-sensitive. Sunburn of the eye, or photokeratitis, is one effect. It’s also known as ”snow blindness,” as it happens to skiers, too. In severe cases, it can cause loss of vision for up to 48 hours, according to the report. Long-term, excess UV exposure can cause a variety of eye problems, including:
- “Surfer’s Eye” also known as pterygium: This abnormal but usually benign growth on the eye’s surface can itch, swell, and become irritated. Surgery can be done to remove it, but it can come back.
- Cataracts: The progressive clouding of the lens of the eye.
- Age-related macular degeneration: The macula is at the back of the eye, in the middle of the retina. Damage to the nerve cell in the macula can dull colors and blur fine detail in your vision.
- Cancer of the eye, eyelid, or nearby skin.
So put on those sunglasses and encourage children to do the same! Follow here for additional information on sunglasses and eye safety!