Regardless of whether you are leaning back on a seashore, swimming, climbing a mountain or skiing down a mountain, you want to make the most of your activity and time. However, your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause you harm. The odds are that you might get a sunburn to your skin and your eyes.
But what are UV rays? In brief, UV rays are an electromagnetic radiation present in sunlight and making up about 1% of the total light released by the sun. The fact is that you need suitable doses of sunlight because UV rays enable your body to produce vitamin D which is essential to your health and mood. However, excessive exposure of UV rays on eyes and skin causes health issues.
A tricky business!
Glare from the water, snow and sand gets you exposed to UV rays even if there is little sun and the weather is cloudy. Staring directly at the sun, especially during a solar eclipse, causes long lasting and significant harm to your eyes.
However, sunlight isn’t the only source of UV rays. The sun, of course, is the strongest source of ultraviolet radiation, yet there are also other sources that are mostly artificial, such as those you find and use in industry and commerce. In your indoor ventures, for instance, such as when using a sunlamp or a tanning bed, or even when welding, the chances are that you would receive the same if not a higher exposure to UV rays. The same applies when using photographic flood lamps or mercury vapor lamps. All you need to do is taking the right precautions by using these UV sources responsibly and attentively.
What are the risks?
Exposing yourself to UV rays can cause premature aging and damage to your skin such as wrinkles and liver spots. The most common and immediate effects of UV rays, however, are sunburn to your skin and especially to your eyes. The reason is that more than 99% of UV radiation is absorbed by the front of the eyes. Photokeratitis and cataracts are two common effects from UV exposure.
How can you protect yourself?
Any exposure you make to UV rays can be minimized if not completely prevented just by taking some precautions. Here is a list of what you can do to keep yourself sound:
How can you treat yourself?
With these precautions applied, you not only protect your eyes but also save time and money that might have otherwise been spent uselessly. If worst come to worst and you started to experience some unhealthy symptoms, do not worry; remember that almost everything you may feel or experience could be treated and cured. Just consider taking the following steps:
In case there is a need for you to undergo a complete eye exam, our experienced optometrists will refer you to an ophthalmologist who will then examine your eyes and ask you questions about your work environment and recent activities. Eventually, the ophthalmologist will determine if and how much damage has occurred to your eyes and prescribe you the right treatment.