Most of us tend to have the misconception that our eyes need protection from the sun’s glare only during summer months when the sun is harsh and hot.
When the weather turns cooler and sunshine becomes desirable,many of us do away with our sunglasses and expose our eyes to harmful radiation. However, it is important to underline that sunglasses are not strictly a summer accessory. The less intense winter sun must not deceive you into believing that your eyes do not need protection any more.
You may feel less heat from that winter sun-but don’t be fooled.Those trendy sunglasses you bought are just as important as now.The sun’s rays still do serious damage to your eyes. “People don’t realize that just because the sun isn’t as intense or as hot, they need protection,”Susan Taub,MD, assistant professor of opthalmology at Northwestern University School of Medicine in chicago.
Research shows that the sun’s ultravoilet (UV) rays can contribute to various eye diseases related to aging like, cataracts & macular degeneration. Anyone who spends long hours outdoors, take note.”In reality,people need sunglasses all year long,” Taub says.”Anyone who has driven when there’s snow on the ground knows that.Even when there isn’t snow, you’re still at risk because of the glare coming off the cement.”
Exposure to harmful Ultra Violet radiation emitted by the sun does not only cause skin irritation, sun burns or raise the risk of skin cancer; it is also associated with several eye related problems ranging from temporary sunburns in the eye to more permanent damage to the cornea. Long-term problems such as Macular degeneration and cataracts are also associated with long-term sun exposure.
Photokeratitis is a painful condition caused by exposure to UV radiation. It is akin to having a sun-burned eye. In Photokeratitis also known as ultraviolet keratitis, damage is caused by high intensity UV radiation to the cornea of the eye and the conjuctiva. Most commonly, this condition occurs when the eye is exposed to sunlight reflected from surfaces of snow,water or sand. When caused by reflection of the sun’s radiation from ice or snow, this condition is also known as snow blindness.