CHICAGO, April 24 (UPI) -- Most people know exposure to ultraviolet rays can be harmful to the body, but many may not be aware of the damage UV rays can have on eyes and vision.
Hugh R. Parry, president and chief executive officer of Prevent Blindness said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said basal cell carcinoma -- the most common type of skin cancer -- can also affect the eyelids and may appear on the lower lid, in the corners of the eye and under eyebrows.
There are different types of UV: UV-A radiation penetrates deep into the eye which may injure the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sight in the center field of vision. UV-B radiation is presumably more dangerous and is mainly absorbed by the cornea and lens of the eye and can damage these tissues.
UV rays damage to eyes includes:
-- Cataracts: UV rays, especially UV-B rays, may cause some kinds of cataracts.
-- Corneal Sunburn, or photokeratitis, is the result of high short-term exposure to UV-B rays. Long hours at the beach or skiing without proper eye protection can cause this painful condition which may also cause temporary vision loss.
-- Macular Degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for older U.S. adults.
-- Pterygium, a growth that begins on the white of the eye and may involve the cornea. Eventually, the growth may block vision.
“It is so important for us to always remember to protect our eyes from UV rays when headed outdoors, and, to consistently provide a good example for our children,” Parry said in a statement. “By demonstrating the importance of protecting our vision, we can hopefully help save sight for ourselves and for generations to come.”