We all love the sun, and spending time in the sunlight can serve up a host of physical and emotional benefits for your health. However, you do have to take care of your eyes if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Take a look at just a few of the serious eye health conditions that can be related to UV exposure.
Pterygium (sometimes called surfer’s eye) is characterized by the growth of a wing-shaped piece of tissue called a pinguecula. The growth occurs on the white part of the eye but can press against or protrude through the clear cornea if left untreated. The most common instances of pterygium will leave a triangular wing that reaches from the corner of the eye to the iris. The growth usually goes away with time, but may also have to be surgically removed.
UV sun exposure over prolonged periods of time can actually cause direct damage to the retina. The macula lies in the center of the retina, and it is responsible for central vision capabilities. With too much UV exposure, the macula may change shape or alter so visual changes are unavoidable. Macular degeneration is a progressive disease and there is no cure, but certain treatments may slow the progression.
Also sometimes referred to as ultraviolet keratopathy, photokeratitis is actually characterized by inflammation or swelling of the clear covering of the eye (the cornea). You may have symptoms like pain in the eyes, blurred vision, or redness of the eyes. Photokeratitis commonly happens to people after they have spent a day out at the beach or on the snow on a sunny day without wearing sunglasses. The condition usually subsides, but repeat instances could cause corneal damage and changes to your vision.
Protect Your Eye Health with Help from a Coldwater Eye Doctor
Your eyes deserve rightful protection from UV rays, so make sure you wear good sunglasses that can protect you from harmful UV rays. Also, make time for annual vision health screenings with the eye doctor to watch for sun damage as it develops. Reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS to schedule an appointment.