If you’re just learning about UV rays, chances are good you might not yet have the whole picture. Hopefully you’ve learned that while light exposure to UV rays for fifteen minutes a day can be good for your health, harmful levels of overexposure to UV rays can easily damage your body. What some people don’t know, even if they do take plenty of precautions like using sunblock and portable umbrella with tripod stand, is that there’s one very important part of your body that often goes unprotected in direct sunlight every single day of the year: your eyes.
Of course your eyes are somewhat naturally protected from sunlight by your body. Your forehead provides some shade, while the eyebrows and eyelashes offer additional protection. But even with this limited protection UV rays are entirely capable are harming your eyes if you spend an extended amount of time outside in direct contact with sunlight. In some extreme cases, you can even develop a type of sunburn on your corneas.
Unusual environmental conditions can compound the harmful effect of these UV rays as well. Water and sand can easily reflect UV rays in the right conditions, and snow is known to be especially bad. Skiers and snowboarders will often encounter a severe snow blindness due to the high altitudes they encounter and the high chance of the ground they’re traversing being extra reflective.
Overexposure to high levels of these harmful UV rays for a prolonged amount of time can cause a number of harmful irritations, complications and diseases. In the eye, they can damage and destroy cells. Growths or blemishes can also appear on an eye’s surface, and inflammation is also not uncommon. Surgery is a possibility if the damage is severe enough. Furthermore, UVB rays have been demonstrated to help cause the appearance of cataracts. Even worse than all this is the chance of developing eye cancer.
Of course with the proper preparations you can avoid all these perils. If you know you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun, be sure to add some extra precautions to your normal regimen. Bring a hat to shade your vision and wear sunglasses to enhance your protection. Stay out of direct sunlight, either by sticking to shade or by bringing a portable sun shade umbrella along. Taking precautions like these only takes a little extra time and will help keep you safe and healthy while you enjoy the great outdoors.