Americans Underestimate the Eye Health Risks of UV Radiation

South Florida eye specialistThe Vision Council, a global voice for vision care products and services, uncovered a surprising find among Americans. It has been discovered that more than 25 percent of adults in the U.S. rarely or never wear sunglasses, despite how damaging UV exposure can be to a person’s vision, according to a survey in the report, Protection for the Naked Eye: Sunglasses as a Health Necessity.

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s ultraviolet rays increases your risk of eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, along with other non-ocular issues, such as sunburns, wrinkles and skin cancer. Unfortunately, since the effects of UV exposure don’t occur immediately, many Americans are unaware how serious avoiding sunglass use can be.

The Negative Impact of UV Radiation on Eye Health

Ultraviolet rays can cause anything from temporary eye problems to cumulative ones. Some temporary eye problems include: photokeratitis (eye sunburn) and pterygium (growth on the surface of the eye). Both of these conditions can cause the eyes to become bloodshot, irritated, swollen or hypersensitive to light.

Cumulative exposure to UV radiation can cause serious eye conditions, such as cataracts, AMD and even cancer of the eye, eye-lid and surrounding skin. This type of exposure has the tendency to accelerate these eye disorders causing semi-permanent vision impairment.

The Key Findings from the Survey

Besides the finding mentioned above, more details were obtained after 2,000 adult participants completed this survey. These findings are as follows:

  • More than one-third of parents report that their children, ages 13 and under, rarely or never wear sunglasses, despite their increased risk for UV overexposure.
  •  Nearly 63 percent of Americans don’t wear sunglasses on cloudy or rainy days and 31 percent of Americans don’t protect their eyes during the winter.
  • Sunglasses are typically worn among women 65 and older and are uncommonly worn by millennial men between the ages of 18 to 34.

How to Reduce the Risks of UV-related Eye Damage

Avoiding the consequences of UV-related eye damage is quite easy. The following tips have been provided to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

1. When buying sunglasses, make sure that UV protection is a major factor in your purchase.

2. Your search for the perfect pair of sunglasses should include considering lenses and frames that are designed for specific activities and lifestyles pertinent to you.

3. Always purchase your sunglasses from a reputable source and look for the label that states UVA and UVB protection.

CorrectVision Laser Institute is one of Florida’s most advanced vision correction practices and has extensive experience in eye health. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world of great vision by offering unparalleled expertise and the most advanced technology available. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our South Florida eye specialists, located in Hollywood, Weston and Pembroke Pines!