How do sunrays affect your eyes?

Intense sunlight and ultraviolet rays affect every part of the eyes. Sometimes, their side effects increase the risk of diseases related to the eyes, so it becomes crucial to protect them from the sun.

Like the skin, the eyes also need protection from the sun. UV radiation, whether from sunlight or rays from artificial devices, can damage the eye’s surface and the cornea and lens.

Here are some problems that can affect your eyes through bright sun rays: 

  • Blurred vision

It may be caused by sun exposure to photokeratitis, including redness of the eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and mild pain in the eyes. Sunlight is most vital in the afternoon, which can damage the cornea. Ultraviolet rays reflected from the snow at higher altitudes can also cause damage to the eyes. Ultraviolet rays falling on the surface of the sand can also affect the cornea. 

  • Effect on skin

Ocular skin cancer, a type of cancer, occurs in the eyes. UV rays increase the level of melanin in the skin, which causes the skin to darken. This darkening can also become a cause of skin cancer. You can avoid this by wearing sunglasses. 

  • Risk of blindness 

Long-term exposure to UV light increases the risk of macular degeneration, which damages the retina and is the leading cause of age-related blindness.

  • Disease in the eye lens

Cataracts are also included in the side effects of sunlight. Most cataracts occur due to old age, but this problem can also occur in younger people due to the sun’s harmful UV rays. In this, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Prolonged exposure to sunlight doubles the risk of corneal cataracts. However, cataracts and eye cancer can take years to develop.

  • Effect on the white part of the eye and the pupil 

Exposure to the sun for a long time can lead to pterygium, also known as nails. It affects the white part of the eye and the pupil. In this, the whitish structure in the eyes gradually fades. Usually, this problem is caused by spending a long time in the middle of the sun’s rays in the afternoon.

How to save your eyes from sun rays?

  • Always wear sunglasses with 100% UV or UV-400 protection. Make sure that the glasses are large and of good quality.
  • Light coloured glasses do not protect the eyes from the sun adequately. It is advisable to choose sunglasses with neutral grey, amber, brown and green shades.
  • Wear a wide hat with glasses so that the area around the eyes can be protected from the sun.
  • Wear photochromic lenses, which automatically darken in sunlight. Wear sunglasses with wraparound frames for more protection as it blocks out more sunlight than regular frames.
  • Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can damage the eye’s retina.
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight in summer from 10 am to 4 pm.