Some of us could use a gentle reminder just how important it is to use sun protection for our eyes (just as we do for our skin). Whether it’s winter or summer, our eyes are just as impacted by the sun. After all, UV radiation can cause all sorts of issues for us if we get too much of it. And snow can reflect sunlight, giving you more UV exposure than you thought you were getting.
UV radiation can cause skin cancer and also serious eye issues like pterygia (benign growths that can disfigure your eye), pingueculae (yellow bumps on your eye), cataracts (clouding of your eyes’ lens), and macular degeneration (deterioration of your eye that can cause difficulty recognizing faces, drive, or do anything that requires seeing fine details).
Keep reading to learn how you may be able to decrease your likelihood of developing these issues.
Avoid High UV Times and Places
Depending on the time of day, UV radiation amounts vary. Avoid being in the sun as much as possible between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, especially in areas where you are more exposed to reflected UV rays from the snow. Also, keep in mind that the higher the altitude you are in, the higher the UV radiation is. Being near lakes, rivers, or the ocean will increase your UV radiation exposure.
Wear Sun Protection
If you must be outside, be safe about it. Always have a pair of sunglasses handy so you don’t have to go without them. Find a pair that block all UV rays, but you may also want to find a pair that block HEV rays. If you’re going skiing, pack a good pair of googles that cut down glare and help you see safely. Even on a cloudy day, you could be exposing yourself to excessive amounts of damaging UV rays.
Keep in mind that there are other factors that may contribute to macular degeneration. Age, diet, and even whether or not you are/have been a smoker can all influence macular degeneration.
If you think you may have macular degeneration, or are looking to learn more, we would love to schedule a consultation for you. Call us to schedule a consultation today.