There are many articles available on the internet about the harmful effects of Ultra Violet (UV) rays on human skin, but fewer people are aware of its adverse impacts on our eyes as well. The sun is a primary source of light for our habitat, but it renders one primary danger, which is the emission of UV rays. As discussed in our last article on “The Impact of UV Exposure on Your Eyes”, there exist three types of UV rays among which UV-A and UV-B reach the earth’s surface, whereas, UV-C rays are absorbed by the ozone layer.

UV-A radiation, being 95% of the total radiation is most common and is of longer wavelength. These rays are responsible for bringing long-term damage of exposed cells of eyes and skins. These rays mostly are responsible for hurting the central vision of the human eye as they can damage the macula.

UV-B, on the other hand, are shorter rays but are harmful as they are reflective in nature. They can bounce off from any reflective surfaces and may increase the risk of damage on your eyes. These rays can sustain a 100% bounce rate from water and 85% from snow. Therefore, people working at beaches and snowy places are always at high risk of getting affected with UV-B rays.

UV rays can catalyze following eye problems:

Corneal Sunburn

Also known as photokeratitis, corneal sunburn is the result of high or short-term exposure to B type UV rays. Thus, people spending long hours at the beach or performing skiing activity on snow without proper eye protection are at risk of this problem. It’s a painful situation, which may even lead to temporary vision loss.


Also known as ‘surfer’s eye’, pterygium is a pink and non-cancerous growth that develops on the layer of conjunctiva over the white part of the eye. UV rays from the sun are believed to play a significant role in the development of such fleshy tissue growth.


In cataract, the clouding of eye’s natural lens takes place, which is one of the most essential part of the eye that focuses on the light that we see. UV-B especially are most of the times the cause to generate such a situation.

Macular Degeneration

Several studies have concluded that UV rays may lead to the problem of macular degeneration, which is a leading cause for vision loss in older Americans.

Shield Your Eyes From Ultraviolet Rays

At least 94% of people believe that UV rays only impact your vision momentarily and doesn’t cause long-term eyesight issues.

Ultraviolet rays do immediately affect the eyes, raising the probability of esophageal macular degeneration, and cancer of the eye. To maintain proper eye health, never forget to wear sunglasses. Just like you wear sunscreen to shield your skin, you will need to rely on shades to act as the barrier between your eyes and UV radiation.

If you devote a great deal of time outside in bright sunshine, wearing shades/goggles can provide additional protection from the harmful solar rays. Finally, do not forget about security for the children and teenagers, as they typically spend additional time in sunlight than adults.

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