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We all are well aware that ultraviolet rays are harmful for eyes and skin. And also know that in extreme cases it can cause cancer. But this is just an awareness, do we know what can prolonged exposure to UV rays can actually do to our eyes. Probably not in all cases, the result can be as hazardous as cancer but it can really cause some serious problems. 

We can't avoid going out but we can certainly avoid our eyes from getting exposed to UV rays. Before talking about the solution, let’s get to know about the ultraviolet rays and it’s harsh affect our eyes.

When are you at risk?

It’s surprisingly shocking to hear that UV rays will not just affect your eyes during summer days. If you think only when it’s very hot or bright sunny atmosphere outside your eye are at risk then you are wrong. UV rays are much of a danger is areas with high reflective surfaces like sand and snow.  We cannot deny the fact that sun rays are more powerful during summer but also there is another fact stating that winters can be more dangerous as the snow is much reflective which directly bring eyes and UV rays in contact. 

The level of UV is high from 10 am to 2 pm.

According to glasses guides, 99 - 100% UV protective sunglasses, polarised glasses can protect your eyes from the harmful radiations. Check the labels or get it approved by your doctors to make sure it’s genuine UV protective glasses. Close fitting or wraparound style glasses are mostly recommended.

What can exposure of UV rays cause?

There are many vision problems that are caused due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays. Swollen eyes, blurred vision, eye irritation, red eyes, problem in viewing are few symptoms of UV exposed eyes but the situation can become worse and result in major eye problems like:

Macular degeneration - It is actually an age related vision problem which is the leading cause of blindness among people above 60 years of age. However with higher exposure of UV rays, macular degeneration can affect your eyes early, irrespective of age. 

Cataract - Again cataract is an age related vision problem (in some cases, it’s noticed early than expected). However it is preventable. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 20% of Cataract cases reported are because of exposure of eyes to UV rays.  

Pinguecula and Pterygium - It is a noncancerous triangular growth in the cornea that can affect your vision. One of the main cause of this eye disease is constant working under the sun or exposure of eyes to UV rays. It has become very common, these days. It is more seen among people above 20 years of age. It can be treated with proper medications or surgery. 

Photokeratitis - Also known as snow-blindness, Photokeratitis is painful and can lead to temporary vision loss.

Cancer - Skin cancer is not rare as before, the rate has drastically increased. As per a latest report. one/tenth of skin cancer is caused on the eyelid area which makes quite evident that UV rays are alarmingly affecting human eyes. The harmful UVB can also lead to eyelid tumour.  

Since vision is really precious, protect your eyes as much as possible. Whether it’s UV protective sunglasses or UV-blocked contact lenses, make sure you wear them without fail, before you step out.

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