Ultraviolet (UV) light or radiation from the sun can pose a serious threat to our health. Although many people are aware of the damaging effects UV light has on our skin, many people don’t realise the damage they can also present to our eyes and vision. As a result, millions of people around the globe continue to expose their eyes to harmful levels of UV radiation. So how can you prevent dangerous eye exposure from these damaging UV rays?
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of UV protection and provide informative ways to protect your eyes from UV light. Visiting a trusted eye specialist clinic in Singapore can also help you monitor your eye health and ensure you stay UV-protected.
What Is UV Light?
Sunlight emits three types of UV rays – UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. However, UV-C rays do not pose a risk as they do not reach the earth’s surface. In contrast, UV-A and UV-B rays can reach us and penetrate deep into our eyes, damaging the cornea, lens, and even our retina, which can cause overall eye health to deteriorate. UV light can present either long-term or short-term effects on the eyes and vision, depending on the UV level and length of exposure.
If you are experiencing eye pain or sensitivity or suspect that you have exposed your eyes to UV light in a risky manner, getting an eye assessment at your local eye care clinic in Singapore can help determine whether it has caused damage to your eyes.
What Eye Problems Are Caused By UV Light Exposure?
Everyone enjoys spending time outside in Singapore’s sunny weather. However, many neglect to take the necessary precautions to protect their eyes against UV light. This leads to people developing eye problems such as:
- Cataracts: A cataract occurs when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, which causes blurred vision and, eventually, blindness. Exposure to UV light, particularly UV-B rays, increases this risk.
- Skin Cancers: Skin cancer on the eyelids — particularly basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – are caused by extended UV exposure that damages the DNA cells in the skin.
- Macular Degeneration: Continuous exposure to UV light can increase the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This eye condition leads to a distorted perception of light and images.
- Photokeratitis: Photokeratitis, or corneal sunburn, is caused when UV light passes through the eyes and damages corneal cells. This causes the corneal epithelium to become inflamed and irritated, which results in stinging pain, blurred vision, or even temporary blindness.
- Pingueculae and Pterygia: Pingueculae and Pterygia are growths on the conjunctiva — Both are caused by UV exposure. An early pinguecula can worsen and become a pterygium if the eyes continue to be exposed to high levels of UV light over a long time.
If you believe you have developed any of these eye conditions, see an eye specialist immediately to get them checked out and treated as early as possible.
5 Ways You Can Protect Your Eyes From UV Light
Regardless of age, gender, or eye colour, everyone is vulnerable to UV light exposure and its effects. Follow these five eye care tips from our team at EyeWise Vision clinic to ensure your eyes are always UV protected:
1. Limit Your Time Spent Outdoors During Peak Hours Of The Day
UV radiation levels are highest between 10 am to 4 pm. As much as possible, avoid outdoor activities, or stay in the shade during these hours to prevent harsh UV exposure.
2. Wear UV-Protected Sunglasses When Going Outdoors
UV-protected sunglasses can act as a barrier to block and reflect the UV light from reaching your eyes and the skin around them.
3. Wear UV-Blocking Contact Lenses
Despite wearing sunglasses, UV light can sometimes creep in through the upper parts or side of your sunglasses. Wearing UV-blocking contact lenses can add that extra layer of protection for your eyes.
4. Wear A Wide-brimmed Hat Or Baseball Cap
While we can easily wear clothing and sunscreen to protect our bodies from UV exposure, wearing a hat will give you that needed coverage for your eyes, face, and neck as well.
5. Apply Sunscreen Around Your Eyes
Make sure not only your eyes are protected, but also the skin around them. Find the right sunscreen and apply it around the eyelid region and under your eyes (not in them), as UV exposure can cause ageing changes like wrinkles around the eye area, as well as skin cancer.
Schedule Your Eye Examinations In Singapore With EyeWise Vision
UV light exposure has been a major health risk to our eyes for the longest time. Get a complete eye exam at EyeWise Vision clinic to ensure your eyes are safe, protected, and healthy. Our Singapore eye specialists can provide comprehensive eye examinations and the proper treatments for eye concerns linked to UV light exposure, and other eye conditions such as glaucoma, eye trauma, diabetic eye, and more. We believe that good eyesight makes a good life, which is why we prioritise preventative eye care.
Schedule an appointment with EyeWise Vision today to enjoy healthy eyes and clear vision for life.