Protect the eyes from harsh sunlight

Exercise caution
Last Updated 10 April 2014, 15:44 IST
Summer’s here. The getaways, outdoor adventures are all planned. The summer wardrobe is also ready along with tubes of sunscreen to guard the skin from harsh sunlight. 

But this isn’t where safety ends this summer. 

Along with skin, the harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays of the sun can damage the long-term health of the eyes and the delicate skin surrounding them.
UV radiation can play a contributory role in the development of various disorders including age-related cataract, cancer of skin around eyelids and photokeratitis. 

In fact, the eye may be at a greater risk from the sun than the skin. 

The skin has the capacity to adapt to UV radiation by producing melanin (tan) that protects against UV exposure.
The eye does not develop a tolerance to UV rays, but becomes more sensitive with repeated exposure. 

So, the importance of protecting eyes from UV exposure should not be overlooked.
According to Dr Ritika Sachdev, additional director, Medical Services, Centre for Sight, “Other UV damage to the skin around eyes, otherwise known as ‘photo ageing’ manifests itself as dryness, sagging or loss of elasticity and mottled pigmentation. WHO estimated that 20 per cent of cataracts are primarily due to sun and excessive UV exposure which results in the development of skin cancers, of which 10 per cent occur on eyelids.”
One should also focus on the kind of eyewear they wear. 

“Appropriate eyewear and hats are not just fashion accessories but are essentials. It is important to ensure that one invests in good quality eyewear that blocks 100 per cent UV radiation. People who wear prescription glasses need not fret. UV rays blocking eyeglasses provide the most complete and convenient eyewear to shield the eye from harmful effects of the sun. While most prescription lenses offer some UV ray protection, not all are equally effective,” says Dr Ritika.

(Published 10 April 2014, 15:44 IST)

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