Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is sunlight bad for your eyes?"
I wear glasses and haven't had sunglasses in years. Can being out in the sun do damage to my eyes? Is it worse because I have glasses? 22 year old female. Had glasses for 10 years.
There is a lot of evidence that too much exposure to strong sunlight can be bad for your eyes. As you know sunlight contains ultraviolet rays. These are high energy rays that can produce burns to the skin, which is why you wear sunscreen lotion when you go outdoors for longer periods of time. Interestingly, ultraviolet rays can also penetrate and damage the eyes over time. In particular, research has linked exposure to ultraviolet rays to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are two of the most important causes of impaired vision in older adults. Therefore, there is some good sense to wearing sunglasses when you will be outside in bright light. Of course, this is more difficult to do when you have to wear prescription glasses. However, you could talk to your local eyeglasses store. Many manufacturers of eyeglass lenses offer special lens coatings that darken and lighten depending on the amount of light. There are also such things as prescription sunglasses. Additionally, you should always make sure to keep up with your yearly appointments with your eye doctor. In addition to checking out your prescription, your eye doctor is also looking for cataracts and other eye diseases.
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