Bye bye, long winter! Here comes summer and all the fun that comes with the sunnier days before us. We are ready to get outside and explore all of the things that Chicago has to offer this summer. Just don’t rush out the door just yet. The sun can also cause a lot of issues when it comes to our eyes. In fact, overexposure to the sun can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae (yellowish, raised bumps on the sclera of the eye), ptergiums (benign growths that can cause blindness and result from extended UV exposure), and more. Keep reading for some basic tips to keep your eyes from more UV radiation this summer, and what to do if you’re already showing signs of too much UV radiation.
Know Your Risk of UV Radiation
The hours between 10 AM and 4 PM are commonly known as the most dangerous times for UV radiation. Higher elevations allow for higher UV radiation; large bodies of water also speed up the process. If you are headed to a lake, a river, or even somewhere with snow still on the ground, make sure to understand you’re also likely getting a larger dose of UV Radiation.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. Protect your eyes while you’re out and about by wearing good sunglasses that offer “100% UV Protection”. Wraparound styles that protect the sides of your eyes are best. Also, consider wearing a hat with a large brim to keep any sneaky rays from slipping in your glasses from above.
If you are already showing signs of UV damage in your eyes, like the unfortunately all-too-common Pterygium, understand that it’s not too late to protect your eyes and maybe even reverse some damage. We are often able to help you remove these unsightly growths that cause discomfort and may even lead to blindness. Chances are very good that, once it is removed, a Pterygium will not return to the eye.