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Cataracts and UV Exposure: Is There A Correlation?

Posted by Illinois Eye Center on Sep 14, 2016 2:45:00 PM

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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to be pretty harmful to the skin, but did you know that it can also have harmful effects on your eyes? Exposure to UV radiation from the sun has been linked to several different types of eye damage, and new studies are showing a correlation between UV exposure and cataractscataracts and UV exposure

UV radiation comes from the sun, as well as artificial sources such as welding machines, tanning beds and lasers. There are actually three different types of UV radiation: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. While UV-C is absorbed by the ozone and poses no threat, A and B can have very serious negative effects on the eyes.

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine has found that exposure to ambient AV-A and UV-B radiation can induce cataract formation and lead to impaired vision as well as transient and permanent blindness, especially if the recipient is over 40 years of age. 

You may already be aware that cataracts involve the clouding and thickening of the eye’s lens. The complex proteins in the lens effectively pile on top of each other, leading to cloudiness, obscured vision, and even blindness in serious cases. With repeated exposure to UV rays over several years, this process is sped up. 

How To Protect Your Eyes From Ultraviolet Radiation

To avoid the dangerous effects of UV radiation, be sure to wear sunglasses in bright environments. This means sunglasses that:

  • Screen 75-90 percent of visible light
  • Block out 95-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • Have lenses that are matched in color and are free of distortion

The proper eyewear can make a world of difference, especially when it’s being used to prevent eye conditions like cataracts.

To learn more about cataracts, or to find the perfect pair of UV-blocking sunglasses, visit Illinois Eye Center today.
Download our free guide Get the Facts on Cataracts today!

Topics: Eye care, Cataracts