The summer season is in full swing, and with restrictions easing up, more people are spending time outdoors. Exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of eye conditions caused by UV radiation. In today’s post, local optometrist and eye care center Eyes on Norbeck share the conditions linked to UV exposure.
The cornea covers the eye like a protective skin. As the outermost part of the eye, this clear outer covering can be sunburned, resulting in a condition called photokeratitis. This condition is characterized by symptoms that include swelling, excessive tearing, and pain and redness of the eyes. Severe photokeratitis can cause temporary loss of vision.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lenses. People who suffer from cataracts describe it as like seeing the world through a foggy window. Cataracts are caused by one or more factors, some of which are hereditary. Exposure to UV radiation does not cause cataracts, but it can accelerate its development. In addition to sunglasses as described above, prescription eyeglasses with protective coatings can also help reduce exposure to UV radiation.
Pinguecula and Pterygium
Pinguecula and pterygium are commonly known as “surfer’s eye” and are growths on the sclera or the whites of the eyes. Pinguecula is a raised and yellowish growth on the conjunctiva or the clear coating on the whites of the eyes. It usually grows on the side of the eye that’s closest to the nose. Pterygium, on the other hand, is a growth of fleshy tissue that may start as a pinguecula. Both are caused by exposure to UV radiation. Wearing proper UV protection and using eye drops when the eye feels dry can help prevent these growths.
The macula is the part of the eye that senses light. Macular degeneration is an eye disease associated with aging. When it sets in, the center of the field of vision may begin to blur, distort, or turn dark. Similar to cataracts, exposure to UV rays do not cause macular degeneration, but it does exacerbate its effects.
Eyes on Norbeck is your leading provider of eye care services. Give us a call at (301) 690-9177. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an eye exam. We serve clients in Potomac, MD, and the surrounding communities.