When the sun makes an appearance you reach for the sun cream to protect your skin. But did you know the sun can also have negative effects on your vision?
Sunlight is comprised of 3 types of ultraviolet rays – UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA and UVB rays can have both short and long term effects on your vision if your eyes are not protected.
Photokeratitis is an example of a short-term condition. It is a form of sunburn of the eyes, most commonly occurring when they’re exposed to intense sun for a short period of time. It is not a permanent condition, but photokeratitis can cause extreme pain and discomfort as well as temporary vision loss.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a long term problem that can develop following excessive UV exposure. The condition affects central vision and depending on which type of macular degeneration you have – wet or dry – the speed at which you lose your vision will vary. It is important to remember that vision loss caused by AMD is irreversible.
Cataracts are another long term effect of sun exposure, causing problems with the lens of the eye which will become cloudy or foggy. This condition affects the way you see colours and can result in dull and distorted vision. Although cataracts worsen the longer they are left to develop, they can be rectified with surgery.
Willetts & Doig see many sailors whose eyes have evidence of excessive UV and wind exposure in the form of pingeculae or pterygium. These conditions often show up as fatty like deposits on the white of the eye, either side of the iris.
Children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to UV damage. It is estimated that up to 80% of lifetime UV eye damage occurs in the first 20 years of life. For this reason we recommend that children wear UV safe sunglasses as soon as they start going outdoors!
Willetts & Doig Optometrists are the Island’s specialist suppliers of Bollé Marine sunglasses with many local and international sailors using this brand, and there is also the option to have your prescription added to the lenses if necessary.
We also stock a great range of world-renowned Maui Jim frames, recognised for their specialist features that make them ideal for sporty and fashion-conscious individuals alike – these are particularly impressive when made to your own prescription.