Hello Patients, Friends, and Colleagues.
We hope that you are enjoying the summer thus far and the kiddos are outside playing, lathered up with sunscreen, of course. July has been appropriately coined “UV Safety Month.” Our eyes, along with our skin, are very sensitive to UV radiation. This is due to the fact that the cornea absorbs high doses of UV light. Have you ever come inside after being in the sunshine for a period of time without sunglasses? It takes a few moments to adjust to the new lighting. Due to the intensity of the sun, a temporary clouding of the cornea may occur, a condition known as snow-blindness.
Before getting into more facts and figures, did you know that bushier eye brows help to protect your nose and the inner quadrants of your eyes from over exposure? Isn’t the physical body just amazing?!
In recent years, cases of Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, have been on the rise. Melanoma, which can be life threatening, typically affects the skin, but it can also spread to the eye. “Malignant melanoma of the eye is a rare condition that can occur when your eye has been exposed to too much ultraviolet radiation or sunlight. The choroid layer of your eye is where blood vessels are stored. This is the layer most commonly affected by malignant melanoma” (https://www.healthline.com/).
Please make sure that you and your children are wearing sunglasses this summer! Just like with sunscreen, look for shades that offer 100% UVA & UVB protection. Wearing a broad rimmed hat is not a bad idea either! Although the daily UV index is helpful, don’t be fooled by clouds; the sun’s rays can pass through haze and thin clouds. Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun for any extended length time, including during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, which can cause damage to the eye’s retina from solar radiation.
Something else to note and be mindful of: studies have shown that folks with lighter colored eyes and/or have freckles are more likely to have conditions that correlate with the sun’s effects, i.e. macular degeneration or cataracts (https://yoursightmatters.com/).