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This Is What The Sun Does To Your Eyes

|H A HUFFINGTON POST GRAPHIC This Is What The Sun Does To Your Eyes Turns out your shades are more than a fashion statement. Sunglasses could shield your eyes from health problems as varied as sunburn, cataracts and skin cancer. WHITE OF THE EYE Sun damage can cause a condition called pinguecula, a thickening of the conjunctiva, which is the clear, thin membrane that covers the white of the eye. This causes raised, yellow spots on the eye, near the cornea. While there's no known danger to vision, it can get irritated and inflamed. The conjunctiva can also thicken and grow over the cornea, creating a condition called pterygium (also known as surfer's eye), which might obscure vision. SKIN AROUND THE EYES The skin around the eyes and, in particular, the eyelids is made up of a very thin tissue. Over time, repeated UV exposure (not to mention constant squinting) can lead to wrinkles and age spots, as well as small skin cancers around the eye. IRIS Research has suggested that blue eyed people are more susceptible to macular degeneration, according to Brown. While at this point we don't know the exact reason, he says he recommends even more strongly that people with light eyes wear sunglasses. RETINA The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina where we have straight ahead and detailed vision. That macula can start to deteriorate, causing a condition called macular degeneration, leading to blurred vision or a blind spot. Some information suggests there could be an association between UV light and macular degeneration. LENS Behind the iris of the eye is a crystalline lens that helps to focus light onto the retina. That lens can develop a cloudiness, which is known as a cataract. UV light has been implicated in the development of some types of cataracts, according to Brown. "Cataract surgery is successful and common, but we want to put it off," Sumers says. "The more you wear sunglasses and a hat, the longer you can put it off." CORNEA Here's a common summertime scenario: People go to the shore for the day, and as they're driving home their eyes feel kind of gritty, like maybe there's sand in them. By 10 p.m. they're in agony and by 11 they've landed in the ER for a sunburned cornea, which can cause tremendous pain and even temporary blindness. "Think of it as a giant scratch of the eye," Sumers says. While it doesn't cause long term damage that we know of, it does trigger quite a bit of pain and takes a while to heal. Retina Cornea Iris Lens Here's How To Protect Them Follow these simple rules for picking a pair of sunglasses UV POLARIZED Don't mistake LENS MATERIAL UV Look for a label that LENS COLOR You don't have to pick the darkest pair in the store to get the best FRAMES Oversized glasses are more than a fashion statement: They're good for eye protection, as well. Big frames or a wraparound style shield more UV, preventing rays from coming in at the sides. Wraparound glasses can also help to cut down on dry eye by preventing evaporation of the eye's natural tear film. A quality pair of sunglasses will have optically ground lenses with little distortion, while cheaper varieties are often made out of polarized for added sun protection – polarized sunglasses do not have any advantage in terms of absorbing UV. Instead, they cut the glare from horizontal surfaces, allowing for crisper, clearer vision, particularly while driving or on the says 99 or 100 percent UV absorption or UV 400, which means the glasses block wavelengths that are shorter than 400 nm (that includes all of the UVA and UVB rays). If the label says something more nebulous, such as "absorbs UV," put the glasses back on the shelf. sun protection. Many shades can work well, including gray, green, yellow, brown or rose - it's a matter of personal preference. Some colors can be particularly helpful for different activities or times – green, for instance, tends to be good in the morning or at dusk, pressed plastic. How to tell the difference? When trying them on, turn your eyes to the right and left while you're looking through the lenses, and determine if water. there's any distortion. THE HUFFINGTON POST Sources: Anne Sumers, M.D., spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in private practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey at Ridgewood Ophthalmology, William Brown, O.D., Ph.D., of the department of ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Photos: Getty and Shutterstock 8)

This Is What The Sun Does To Your Eyes

shared by jadiehm on Dec 23
Turns out your shades are more than a fashion statement. Sunglasses could shield your eyes from health problems as varied as sunburn, cataracts and skin cancer.


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