Often thought of as a fashion accessory, sunglasses also contribute to better eye health in a variety of ways. With summer in full swing, the vision experts at Austin Eye thought it would be wise to share four reasons why you should never leave home without your sunglasses.
Sunglasses help prevent sunburn of the eyes, a condition known as photokeratitis. The condition can result in painful symptoms such as burning, itchiness, redness, blurriness, and in rare cases, temporary blindness. Photokeratitis is often called snow blindness. The snow (along with other reflective surfaces like water) can reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays and burn the cornea. Be sure to only use sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection.
Safeguard Against the Elements
Spending time outdoors puts you at risk for damage from sand, dust and wind. The wind and dust can carry harmful debris and other irritants that can infect the eyes while sand can scratch the cornea and cause permanent damage. If you play outdoor sports, you are at a heightened risk of suffering an eye injury or infection due to the elements. The easiest way to protect your eyes is by wearing sunglasses.
Lower Your Risk of Eye Diseases
Overexposure to the sun can increase the risk of cataracts, the most common cause of blindness. Characterized by the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, cataracts can cause fuzzy or blurry vision. Research also shows that prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of macular degeneration, a retinal condition that affects the central vision and causes black and dark spots to appear. UV rays can also lead to pterygium, an elevated bump on the eyeball that can distort the appearance of the eye and impair vision.
Maintain Youthful-Looking Eyes
According to research, approximately 90 percent of all visible age markers are caused by sun damage. Common signs of aging include sun sports, fine lines and wrinkles, including those that form on the outer corners of the eyes. Known as crow’s feet, these branching wrinkles can create a tired, older-looking appearance. This, paired with puffy under-eye bags and loose upper eyelid skin, can take a toll on the appearance of the eyes and overall face. If your eyes are making you look more tired or older than what you really are, eyelid surgery can help. Performed in our office, eyelid surgery removes lax skin on the eyelids and smooths out wrinkles by tightening skin.
To learn more about eyelid surgery, or to discuss your eye health with one of our board certified eye doctors, please call our North Office at (512) 250-2020 or our Central office at (512) 454-2020.